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Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium delay blamed on minister's 'Arsenal support'

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Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium delay blamed on minister's 'Arsenal support'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Development

Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium delay blamed on minister's 'Arsenal support' Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium delay blamed on minister's 'Arsenal support'

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has been asked if he is foot-dragging over a decision that is delaying the start of Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium because he is a fan of their rivals Arsenal.

The Premier League club are waiting for Pickles' Department for Communities and Local Government to make a decision on whether a compulsory purchase order can be used to force the last remaining business in the way of Spur's new stadium plans to move on.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tottenham MP David Lammy asked why the DCLG had already taken 14 months to make a decision - before questioning if the reason was because of Pickles' support of Arsenal.

Lammy said: "You have made much in the house of accelerating development on brownfield land and Mr Pickles has said a lot about speeding up planning.

"Can you say why the development for Spurs, which is currently with the department on CPO, has been with the department for 14 months, might you reach a decision shortly and can you confirm Mr Pickles is in fact not an Arsenal supporter?"

Planning Minister Nick Boles told Lammy that he understood his frustrations but that the DCLG had had to refer back to parties on some "very complex questions".

Boles said: "I would never dare tread into the question of people's football loyalties, particularly not at this time.

"I am keen to make a decision as soon as possible but I know you will want that decision to be a decision that holds up in court and therefore it is important to make sure it's robust."

Spurs CPO process began in 2012 but Lammy, the club and Haringey Council are becoming increasingly baffled as to why the department is taking so long to respond.

The club would like to be in their new 56,000-seat stadium in time for the 2017-18 football season.

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