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Inside Housing: "A public inquiry is set to investigate Barnet Council over the planned regeneration of the West Hendon estate"

"The eight-day hearing, which begins on 20 January, will examine whether the council misused compulsory purchase orders (CPO) to acquire the estate, reneging on promises made to residents.

"Adam Langleben and Dr Devra Kay, Labour councillors for West Hendon, objected to the proposed scheme because not all residents displaced from homes to be demolished will be provided with homes in the new development, as was promised in the original pledge to West Hendon residents.

"The Labour councillors said the tenants have been given little choice about where they will move to and leaseholders were offered £170,000 for a two bedroom flat, which Mr Langleben argues is way below market value in this area.

"250 units on the proposed estate will be leased at social or affordable rent levels, although there are currently 499 socially rented units on the estate, said Mr Langleben in a statement to the inspector of the enquiry. Dr Kay said:
"This is not regeneration, it is re-development. Tenants and leaseholders are being treated disgracefully as they face an uncertain future."
In Dr Kay’s submission to the inspector, she said that non-secure tenancies had been issued for the West Hendon estate ever since regeneration plans were first considered in 2002. She said that these tenants, which make up over a third of the estate, have only been offered one choice of alternative accommodation and that if they refuse it the responsibility to rehouse them will be removed.

West Hendon’s 680-home estate is to be replaced by a 2,000-home development is being carried out by the council in partnership with Barratt Metropolitan.

Richard Cornelius, Conservative leader of the council, said:
"The principal beneficiaries of this scheme are the residents. We are rebuilding the estate and we’re providing homes for people and other homes are paying for the cost of the development.

There is not an unlimited pot of funding for this scheme. The whole idea is that we do the right thing by the people there."

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