London

Tottenham Hotspur stadium order unlawful, firm claims

Artist impression of Tottenham's new stadium Image copyright Tottenham Hotspur
Image caption Spurs has planning permission for the new stadium and it hopes to open for the 2018-19 season

A business standing in the way of Spurs' £400m stadium redevelopment has claimed that an invalid compulsory purchase order (CPO) is being used to force it out, the High Court has heard.

Archway Sheet Metal Works, in Paxton Road, Tottenham, has asked a judge to quash the order.

If it is quashed, it could delay the new 56,000 capacity stadium.

In November, a fire gutted the premises, which is yards from the White Hart Lane ground in north London.

'Bomb threats'

Mr Justice Dove has been told by Archway lawyers the police are currently "investigating the cause of arson".

The owners said they had received "bomb threats".

Josif Josif, 46, who runs the family business, said at the time of the fire: "People were calling us and threatening us and we were receiving bomb threats and that started a few months ago, but we don't know if that's got anything to do with it."

The firm, which produces metal items for the catering and hospitality industry, has been in dispute with Spurs for the last decade over its redevelopment plans.

The London Borough of Haringey made the purchase order in March 2012, which was confirmed by the communities secretary in July 2014 following a public inquiry.

Image copyright Paul Wood
Image caption Firefighters were called to the blaze at Archway Sheet Metal Works on 25 November 2014

Archway is challenging the legality of the order and also claims new changes to the Spurs project have come to light which are so substantial they "alter the viability case made at the inquiry" and further undermine the order.

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC, appearing for Archway, has written a submission to the judge, saying an application for disclosure of documents held by Tottenham Hotspur Ltd had revealed the extent of the changes.

The Tottenham documents revealed discussions had taken place involving an updated design of the Spurs stadium increasing its capacity by 5,000, as well as a potential increase in the residential development and commercial development space to include a medical centre, gym and fitness centre.

Image copyright Tottenham Hotspur
Image caption Lawyers for Archway said the development is on "a substantially different scale" which raises issues about its viability

Mr Lockhart-Mummery said discussions about the changes had taken place between Haringey Council and Tottenham Hotspur Ltd and representatives "at high levels of Government", including UK Trade and Investment and HM Treasury, as well as the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

He said: "There is clear evidence of an intention to implement these changes."

Stephen Whale, acting for the communities secretary, submitted there were no grounds for ruling the purchase order invalid or unlawful, adding the minister had acted "on unchallenged findings" that the stadium project would benefit the borough.

The club has planning permission for the new stadium and it hopes to open for the 2018-19 season.

A Spurs spokesman said: "We have already successfully and amicably relocated more than 70 businesses in the area to the satisfaction of all parties concerned and a number of these organisations continue to reside in the borough.

"Whilst we were able to accommodate all these other businesses' requests, in the instance of Archway, we have been unable to reach agreement over the period of the last seven years."

The hearing continues.

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