Haringey Borough Council has been accused to wasting almost £19million of taxpayers’ money on a “white elephant” project in Tottenham.
The authority came under fire from opposition Liberal Democrat councillors after it revealed plans to buy the Tottenham Hale Technopark for £18.8million at a cabinet meeting on February 11.
It has held the lease on the site in Ashley Road since 1992 and estimates show the site costs the public purse £406,231 in lost revenue each year.
Because of this, a report to council’s cabinet said: “The Technopark is therefore considered an onerous asset and financial liability with a significant annual net cost to the council.”
The council plans to buy the freehold for the site in order to sell it to the Harris Foundation, which will then build a free school there.
Councillor Katherine Reece said the council’s plan to buy the Technopark is “absolutely disgraceful”.
She said: “They have struggled to rent out space at the centre since they took on the lease 21 years ago.
“As a result Labour has wasted millions of local people’s money on an extremely expensive white elephant.
“It is no surprise that Haringey’s council tax is the fifth highest in London when this is how they behave with taxpayers’ hard-earned money.”
Haringey’s Liberal Democrats estimate that since 1992 the council coffers may have lost £8.5m in lost revenue due to the Technopark – this is in addition to the £18.8m of capital money the council is due to spend.
Cllr Reece added: “Imagine how many new businesses could have been supported and new jobs created if these millions of pounds had been spent effectively, rather than wasted by Haringey Labour.
“This only cements Haringey Council's lamentable record of failing to supporting small businesses.”
The Haringey Independent is awaiting a statement from Haringey Council.