Spurs legal bid for Haringey Council High Road West files

The football club is fighting to uncover hundreds of pages of planning files, emails and minutes about the planned High Road West regeneration scheme near the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The scheme, planned for around a decade, is being delivered by the council and developer Lendlease.

They aim to build 2,600 homes, of which 40% will be “affordable” and at least 500 will be council properties.

The scheme has caused controversy, as it involves demolishing existing homes on the Love Lane Estate.

It is not known why Spurs wants access to the documents, as it declined to comment for this story.

However, its information requests made repeated reference to an earlier joint plan by the council and the club to regenerate the same broad area.

Public records show that the club has requested a tribunal over the council’s refusal to hand over the requested files.

Spurs made two information requests in summer 2022 under Environmental Information Regulations – a law similar to the Freedom of Information Act.

But the council claimed Spurs had asked for too much information and it would be too expensive and time-consuming to release it.

The requested documents included the minutes from years of meetings and 550 pages of planning papers, which Haringey claimed were “highly likely to contain substantial amounts of confidential information”.

Spurs also requested emails and notes concerning a “joint pledge” by the council and the club in 2012 for “the major regeneration of north Tottenham”.

The council claimed the emails were old and only available as saved documents, which it would take 90 hours to search.

When it attempted a search, it claimed, it “had to be abandoned due to repeated system crashes”.

The council called the club’s request “manifestly unreasonable”, claiming it would create a “disproportionate burden”, diverting officers away from “general service delivery”.

When the council refused to provide the information, the football club appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – but it sided with the council.

It said any public interest in releasing the information was “outweighed” by the fact that doing so would “divert time from other crucial services”.

Spurs has now referred the case to the First Tier Tribunal, where it is challenging the ICO’s decision. Haringey is also involved in the tribunal as a secondary party.

Both Spurs and Haringey Council both declined to offer any on-the-record comment.

Enfield Independent | News