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Hendon MP Matthew Offord gives backing to people living on 'uninhabitable' estate
Residents of a dilapidated council estate set for major regeneration are being left to live in “uninhabitable” conditions, according to an MP.
Hendon MP Matthew Offord has pledged to put pressure on Barnet Council and developers in charge of the West Hendon regeneration to sort out the “big problem”.
Barratt and Metropolitan Homes plans to demolish the existing 1960s estate and build 2,100 homes in several phases to replace the 680 flats.
But funding for the project has stalled and tenants living in the area of the final phase have been left to live in old homes the council is reluctant to repair.
Mr Offord recently visited members of the estate’s residents’ association in Marsh Drive and said he was disappointed to see the condition of many of the properties.
He said: “Marsh Drive is in the final phase and my concern is they’re being left in conditions that are not suitable for habitation.
“I visited three homes where there was water leaking from the roof. This is a big problem, particularly for those who are elderly or with small children.
“It has been going on for some time. Everyone seems to agree that we don’t want to spend money on buildings that are going to be demolished but people can’t live in conditions that are damaging to their and their children’s lives.”
Barnet Council says it has been working hard to kick start funding for the project, which will include a percentage of affordable homes, but no announcement is expected until April.
Tenants last month spoke about their frustration with the situation and their worries about where they might live if and when their homes are bulldozed.
Mr Offord said: “I want to see regeneration but I have huge concern over what alternatives will be offered to tenants.
“I plan to put more pressure on the council to make sure something is done sooner rather than later. We can’t expect people to remain in these properties given the winter we have had.”
Council leader Richard Cornelius said: “Getting these major regeneration schemes going is real challenge in the deep recession we have had. But as our proposals for the regeneration of Dollis Valley show, this can be done.
“Council officers and the developers have done a great deal over the past few months to make the scheme workable and it is intended to bring proposals to cabinet next month.
“My priority is to get going with providing good quality new homes for the people of West Hendon. The support of local councillors and the MP will be vital in taking schemes forward to replace substandard homes.”