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Archway Shet Metal to challenge Tottenham Hotspur in high court over development plans

The local steel company is moving forward with efforts to block or delay Spurs' compulsory purchase order (CPO) of their business.

The fire-damaged Archway Steel building can be seen in the background.
The fire-damaged Archway Steel building can be seen in the background.
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Archway Sheet Metal saga continues to be a massive headache for Tottenham Hotspur as they look to begin construction on Spurs' new 56,000-seat stadium. Today, the local steel business formally challenged Tottenham's compulsory purchase order of the land their business is built upon in high court, the latest in a series of challenges against the club that date back years.

Archway's company land lies across the street from White Hart Lane and is in the footprint of Tottenham's proposed new stadium. It is the last parcel of land yet to be purchased by the club, meaning it is the final hurdle preventing Spurs from breaking ground on the new stadium. The BBC reported that over 70 other local businesses in the area around the stadium footprint had been "successfully and amicably relocated" by Tottenham Hotspur.

The company, owned and operated by the Josif family, are adamant about not wanting to leave the land where they founded and have run their business for the past 50 years, and have consistently rejected offers from the club to sell. More recently, Spurs had successfully instituted a compulsory purchase order (CPO), the British equivalent of eminent domain, to force the company to sell. Archway had previously challenged the CPO and today formally announced their intent to challenge Tottenham in high court.

Archway is obviously taking a very highly divisive path. A local company, it has its supporters in the area as well as (obviously) its detractors. The Josef family have alleged that they and their business have been threatened by violence from Tottenham supporters over their refusal to sell their land. In November, Archway's building caught fire and burned, causing substantial damage and leading some to suspect arson; as of yet the official cause of the fire has not been released.

On the surface it appears as though Archway is fighting a losing battle against the club; while they clearly don't want to move, their frequent appeals seem to be kicking the can down the road, and the most likely endgame is an eventual high court loss. On the other hand, if they manage to win their appeal against the CPO, it could potentially scrap the stadium plans altogether. Tottenham hopes to have the stadium built and ready by the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

The high court hearing on Archway's challenge will be heard on February 17-18. It's not clear when the parties can expect a ruling.