Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Given that we have both a housing and cost of living crisis (and further that Haringey is an unaffordable area to anyone on average or local authority wages) it seems mad to me that a scheme to provide 46 Council homes 'soon' has been stopped half built for half a year. The reinforced concrete framework went up last year plus a few bits of insulation and brickwork but since then nothing. This is a scheme between Haringey Council and the Paul Simon Magic group but perhaps the magic has gone. Does anyone know why?

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The delay in  making progress on the Red House development is an observable fact.
Speculation about "a wilfully led financial bubble" or some "money laundering" is - as far as I am aware in the absence of evidence, simply speculation.  Or am I wrong?

It is also a fact that there were a list of dubious property transactions which took place under the previous Haringey Labour administration. The Red House does appears on that list. Specifically because of the appalling delay.
However as now an ex-Labour Party member, I am sad to say that incompetence, hubris, and stupidity among some members of that administration seem a highly plausible explanation. Though of course I have an open mind should concrete evidence emerge of "bubbles",  "laundering" or any other  types of cleansing, washing, rinsing, tidying away.

Sometimes it is the absence of evidence which is whiffy. As in a reference in a Sherlock Holmes story about a "dog which did not bark". And by coincidence Clive Carter has recently been refused freedom of access to information on other dodgy dealing under the previous Haringey administration, the Alexandra House purchase and the secret property boards.

Yes, Sorry. I was replying to Cem ;-)

jp quethiock Are you asking about the development on land formally "The Red House" at 423 West Green Rd, N15 ?

If so, you raise an entirely reasonable question. Can I please suggest that you pose it formally?
(1) As a Freedom of Information Act request,
(2) To your local ward councillors & the "cabinet" councillor for regeneration.

You may also want to take a look at Haringey Council information online using the search term: Disposal of Red House, 423 West Green Rd, N15 to Paul Simon Magic Homes.

As HoL cite admin commented "let's not derail the poster's thread".
And especially I would add, by not by trying to turn the delay in completing this development into an anti immigrant issue.

My mention of immigration was a plea that the topic shouldn't be used to avoid/divert from the question posed in this thread: what's going on - or progressing too slowly - at the former Red House site.

The current Haringey administration had taken seriously concerns and questions raised about a list of substantial Council  property transactions over several preceding years. These - including the Red House site -  were listed in the report from Mr Colin Buss which appears in the Cabinet Papers for the meeting on Tuesday, 18th April, 2023. (Link to these papers which include the Buss report. They start on page 141. The actual Buss report starts on page 147.)

For HoL members who may not recall the Red House. Here's a photo from Google Maps historic photos.

I garuntee its an issue with Haringey council. 

I live near this and work certainly has been going on. I've no idea why it's taken so long though..

Any chance of some dated mobile phone photos from outside the site showing works actually underway?

If JP Quethiock is out of date is his observations - or possibly unable to see from the vantage points he has - then it's only fair to Paul Simon Magic Homes that the record is updated/corrected to give an accurate current picture.

If Paul Simon Magic Group has restarted work on this development, all well and good but why did they stop work for so long? I can contrast this with their 80 private rent flats development on Lawrence Road which proceeds apace. A private company is there for its bottom line not social service. One might have thought that Haringey Council would have recognised this years ago after the 1970's fiasco of Wood Green Shopping City.

As for enquiring of Haringey Council as to why a social housing scheme came to a long halt I frankly don't see the point as it would in my experience produce only corporate blandspeak. I am reminded of Mark Fisher's comment in his book, Capitalist Realism, that "More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority's services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services".

The old Red House site is in St Anns ward, which is not my ward. Doubtless the councillors for that ward look at Harringay Online. Perhaps they might want to reveal why a Council house building scheme with a private developer has had such long delay problems?

 jp quethiock - I have a copy of the Mark Fisher book. (Unwanted by a library.)  Your quote from him came from a chapter where he sprinkled as many names as possible of then fashionable Lefty blokes. Maybe to pretend he was saying something weighty?
Žižek, Lacan, Baudrillard, Orwell, Kafka; Marshall Berman . . .

Fisher himself claimed to be quoting not these, but some "anthropological study of local government in Britain". (But without a reference.) What wise new insight was Fisher revealing about local Councils? None I could see.
 Council's PR staff are paid to shove out upbeat PR. Who'd have guessed?

This in my view is why curious residents who want to know what's really going on with public cash, need to do some questioning and nagging. Refusing to take any old bullshit answers they are offered.

Well, as to Mark Fisher, I spent most of my work life in local authority employment and his unattributed quote sat nicely with my experience. He was an academic so naturally he'd shell out all those fashionable names, but Kafka a fashionable lefty? Not to my mind.

Anyway, back to the PSMGroup/ Haringey Council development of 46 Council homes "coming soon". I think the site started in late 2020 so covid will of course have played a part in any early delays but still, two and a half years later the project remains a shell and of course the local councillors should be kicking up about this failure to deliver locally needed housing. I raised the question here simply because it seemed no-one had raised any questions about this failure. I usually go past the site on the West Green Road side where still no work goes on but today I wandered around the whole site. On one small corner on Stanley Road about half a dozen workmen were busying themselves. I asked one how it was going to which he replied "slowly". So the PSMGroup are still at work on the site but not in any fashion that might actually see some Council homes anytime soon. Again I contrast this with their work on the private rented development on Lawrence Road.

jp quethiock- (JPQ) Now that's more like it!!

Genchi Genbutsu

Should all councillors as they move around the Borough keep their eyes, ears and minds wide open and curious?  I think so. Should they do as you've done; stopping to talk with people? Not all have the skills to do this.

How many even want to do this or see it as part of their job? I've no no idea. But I'd guess that some just want to be the mayor (again.) Or need the allowance. Or see it as a stepping stone to being "important" as an MP or in the House of Bores etc.

Actually there were and are councillors and others who raise questions about publicly owned land which ends up mainly to make profits for private companies. (The Red House appears to be an example.)

Rather than "Woke" I'd like to see enough elected councillors - of whichever Party - who are awake enough to work together in the public interest to avoid any more additions to the long list of dubious and money wasting property deals we've seen in recent years.

With the Red House 2022 was once a target completion date.

PPS. I know that Martin Ball has been circling the site, taking and posting photos. Maybe JPQ, you and Martin could explore some collaboration?

Some of Martin Ball's photos here.



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