Campaigners from across London marched to Hendon Town Hall to show their support for tenants being forced out of their homes.

People living on the West Hendon Estate will be moved out of their homes to make way for 2,000 new flats being built as part of the West Hendon Regeneration Scheme.

A public inquiry started earlier this week into the scheme, focusing on Barnet Borough Council’s use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), which order people to sell their homes to make way for the regeneration.

An additional session took place this evening to hear evidence from people on the estate.

Housing activists from across the capital joined the march from the West Hendon Estate to the town hall, including the E15 mothers, Defend Council Housing, Barnet Housing Action and the New Era campaign, along with trade unionists and supporters.

Lee Clemmey, 22, travelled from Paddington to show his support.

He said: “I believe housing development can be good, but not when it means kicking people out of their homes. It’s happening all over the country.”

Fergus Dunn, 29, of South Harrow, said: “There’s a big problem with housing in this city. People are being pushed away from their communities, and London is becoming a rich man’s land. This pattern will carry on unless people do something.”

Speaking to the crowd outside the town hall, Elaine Graham-Leigh, from Counterfire and the North London People’s Assembly, said: “This sort of protest is so important. It’s about us standing up and saying we are the ordinary people of London. We refuse to give up our homes and our streets.

“Everyone is entitled to somewhere safe and warm to live. This is the start of the fight back.”

Overseen by planning inspector Zoe Hill, the inquiry has so far heard evidence from developers, council officers and architects involved in the scheme, and is due to finish next Friday.

Controversial issues from the regeneration include original pledges from 2002 being dropped, the use of non-secure tenancies on the estate, the amount of social housing and the offers being made to leaseholders for their properties – including £115,000 for a one-bedroom flat, and £175,00 for a two-bedroom, far lower than the prices on offer for the new builds.

Earlier this week, Councillor Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, welcomed the start of the inquiry.

Cllr Cornelius said: “The regeneration project will transform the estate and will provide high quality and attractive new homes at a time when public finances are incredibly tight.

"We are particularly looking forward to explaining, through our evidence to the inquiry, how important it is that the regeneration of the estate continues through to completion. We believe that this is very much in the public interest.”

Thomasina Mitchell, 73, who has lived in Marsh Drive on the estate for 42 years and faces being moved out, said: “I don’t want to have to move out at my age. I brought my family up there.

“I don’t know when it will be. They are playing roulette with the tenants on the estate. It’s about time they put people before profits.”