Owners of residential and commercial properties in the West Hendon Estate could be forced to hand them over to Barnet Council to make room for a major redevelopment.

Up to four compulsory purchase orders could be used so Barnet Council can press ahead with its West Hendon Regeneration Scheme.  

The CPOs would cover approximately 13 hectares of land in the estate, although the list of specific properties will not be released until the New Year.

The council has said the CPOs are necessary in order to progress with its regeneration scheme for the 1960s estate, which is being carried out in partnership with developer Barratt Metropolitan.

In July the council approved plans to replace the estate’s 680 homes with 2,000 new homes, as well as a two form entry primary school, nursery and community facilities.

But some people living on the estate have attacked the plans for causing a “severe threat” to wildlife in the nearby Welsh Harp nature reservoir, and are worried they will not be able to afford to live in the new homes being built.

Chairman of West Hendon Residents’ Association Derrick Chung said: “We’re going to lose our homes and we’ve been given nothing to convince us that there will be new affordable homes. They’re making a profit out of our misery.

“Now the council is threatening people with CPOs to get them to comply. What they’re doing is not right. It’s not in our best interest.”

But leader of the council Councillor Richard Cornelius said the estate is in need of an upgrade and the CPOs are a part of that process.

Speaking to the Times Series, he said: “The CPOs are necessary to keep the scheme running, otherwise the negotiations will go on and on forever and we wouldn’t be able to build new homes. We can’t build new homes without knocking things down. It’s a set process – it’s not something unusual.

“One only has to look at this estate to know it has to be rebuilt. It won’t go on forever. I think Derrick would be the first to say its condition is deteriorating.”

The decision to issue the CPOs was made in principle by Barnet Council’s cabinet resources committee on Monday night and is the first stage in what is estimated to be an 18-month process.

There will be a separate report in the New Year for each CPO when a list of affected properties will be produced before any applications are made for the specific CPOs.