Following the release of the Planning Inspector and Secretary of State decisions upholding the West Hendon CPOs, Labour’s Spokesperson for Housing, Cllr Ross Houston said:
“We are extremely disappointed that the Planning Inspector has not backed the residents, and this confirms our view that the current London and Barnet planning system is stacked heavily in favour of developers.
“We note that even the Secretary of State criticises Barnet Council saying ‘the lack of information has been unhelpful’ and that ‘relationships could have been better’ with the residents. Going forward we strongly believe that the council must learn from the mistakes that were made at West Hendon. Regeneration has a massive impact on the lives of families and existing communities and the council has to do much more to ensure that the existing community feels involved in planning the future of their estates. The sense of alienation felt by the community reflects the failure of the council to build a better relationship with residents.
“We regret that the council has still failed to address the issue of the non-secure tenants. Although the Planning Inspector acknowledges that further temporary accommodation solutions have been found for many residents, West Hendon is one of the first estates to be re-developed, and we are all too often moving tenants around from regeneration estate to regeneration estate – where will they go when the last estate is re-developed?
“At the end of the day Barnet are not building enough new social homes to house people. The biggest scandal at West Hendon has been the slashing of the number of social rent homes on the estate, which unfortunately was outside the remit of the Public Enquiry – if the regeneration had replaced all the social rent homes at West Hendon then this would not have been such a critical issue.”
For more information contact Cllr Ross Houston: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568