Lendlease: development creeps

 Posted by on 17th November 2017
Nov 172017

From Corporate Watch 16 Nov 2017

Corporate Watch is a not-for-profit co-operative providing critical information on the social and environmental impacts of corporations and capitalism.

Lendlease is a global property developer and construction company based in Australia, with 12,000 employees working on four continents (Australia, North America, Europe and Asia). Its main speciality is large-scale “urbanisation” developments, often involving “Public Private Partnerships” (PPPs) with city authorities.

In the UK, Lendlease is now in the news as the private partner in the £2 billion Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) partnership with Haringey Council in North London. This follows on from its extremely profitable deal to gentrify the Elephant & Castle area with Southwark Council. For example, in the “One The Elephant” tower, LendLease made a £70 million profit on a site bought from Southwark for just £6.6 million – after councillors it wined and dined agreed to zero affordable housing in the block.

Lendlease’s main superpower, wherever it goes, is its ability to make friends in town halls and state authorities. Planning rules are dropped, laws are amended, criminal charges fade away, and profitable development schemes creep over public space and social housing.

This report provides an overview of Lendlease’s company structure and activities; looks at its profits and who gains from them; then lists just some of many scandals and controversies it has been involved in worldwide. The conclusion summarises a few lessons about how this “development creep” works.  Read the full report here