Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was full of praise for two major regeneration projects in Barnet today as he emphasised the need to build more houses in the borough.

Mr Osborne was taken on a tour of Brent Cross Shopping Centre and the Grahame Park estate in Colindale just weeks after he had pledged government support for the regeneration schemes.

Plans for Brent Cross include 7,500 new homes, a new building for three schools and community facilities as well as pedestrian and cycle bridges, highways and a Thameslink station.

The regeneration will also see the shopping centre double in size, creating up to 6,000 new jobs.

Mr Osborne said: “It will really make Brent Cross what it has been in the past and will be in the future, the centre of London.

“Because of the economic plan we’re not only creating jobs at Brent Cross and houses at Brent Cross but bringing forward the regeneration at Graham Park. So there’s a lot of exciting things happening.”

The regeneration of the 1970s housing estate at Grahame Park will almost double the number of homes to 3,000, making it one of the largest housing-led regeneration projects in England. There will also be community facilities, shops and parks.

After talking through the plans with the housing association, developers and residents, the Chancellor spoke about the need for building more homes.

He said: “We need to build more homes in London. I think that’s the solution to helping families get on the housing ladder and you see in the budget support for houses in Barking Riverside, the garden city at Ebbsfleet and here, homes at Brent Cross supported by the Treasury and backed by local MPs like Mike Freer and Matthew Offord – bringing that together.

“And that’s the answer for London and that’s ultimately the answer for making homes affordable – we need more of them.

“It’s all about getting the right housing mix and we support those who want to buy their own home, support those who can’t afford to buy a home but want to live in a great place.  So we’re doing a whole range of things, not only here but across London.”

More to follow on George Osborne’s visit to Barnet.