Haringey Council has been accused of behaving like a “rogue landlord” for refusing residents a say about the demolition of their homes.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee yesterday (Thursday, December 6) told the leader and his cabinet to rethink their stance on the planned demolition of flats on the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham.

Two blocks, Tangmere and Northolt, were earmarked for demolition in June after failing structural safety tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The council says a consultation it recently carried out shows the vast majority of residents in the blocks agree with its plans to knock them down and replace them with high-quality council homes at council rents.

But Jacob Secker, speaking on behalf of campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing, accused the council of ‘undemocratic’ behaviour and demanded a vote that included an option to strengthen the buildings.

He claimed residents had not been given evidence of the structural flaws and suggested the council had repeatedly failed to carry out urgent repairs because it wanted to demolish the flats.

Mr Secker told the committee: “We have no details of what you are going to do if you knock the blocks down.

“In every other case that has anything to do with blocks being knocked down and rebuilt, there is a masterplan of what the new homes will look like.

“Yet again, the residents of Broadwater Farm have been treated as second-class citizens.

“This isn’t democracy. When you blackmail people into supporting demolition by not doing repairs, by leaving blocks in a horrible state, by not meeting legal obligations to fix roofs – these are the actions of a rogue landlord.”

Mr Secker demanded a ballot on the future of the blocks under Greater London Authority (GLA) guidelines.

He said this would ensure the council kept its promise to rebuild council homes – because not doing so would mean it would have to repay GLA funding.

But Cllr Emine Ibrahim, cabinet member for housing and estate renewal, said the council was right to prioritise the health and safety of residents.

She said: “We faced a stark decision. We were informed that the blocks were at risk of progressive collapse due to a gas explosion or vehicle strike.

“As soon as we became aware, we acted immediately, and we believe it was the right thing to do.”

Cllr Ibrahim said leaving people in blocks that were unsafe would have been the action of a rogue landlord.

She said a GLA ballot would only involve a yes/no choice rather than a demolish or rebuild option and reiterated her pledge to provide 100 per cent council homes at council rents once the housing was rebuilt.

Cllr Dawn Barnes, Liberal Democrat member for Hornsey and Wood Green, asked why there could not be a ballot on the blocks’ future after people had been moved out.

She said: “I don’t have a problem with people being decanted (moved from the blocks for safety reasons).

“But whether or not the blocks are demolished is a different issue.

“We have removed the initial problem – whether or not to strengthen them is a decision that needs to be taken regardless.”

Members of the committee also questioned the use of the word “regeneration” in the report, suggesting it could give people a misleading idea of the council’s intentions.

They said residents could be suspicious of the council’s intentions following the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle plan – which has now been scrapped.

Committee members judged that the cabinet’s decision on the blocks did not go against the council’s own policies.

But they did make recommendations for the cabinet to consider based on the points raised during the meeting.

These included tightening up the wording of the report to reflect the commitments made to residents, providing greater clarity on the proposed rebuild option and strengthening the rights of leaseholders moved away from the estate.

The report will now go back to cabinet for further consideration.