The public inquiry into the West Hendon Estate has come to an end.

The inquiry, which lasted eight days, looked into Barnet Council’s use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) in the West Hendon regeneration scheme, which will order people to sell their homes to make way for 2,000 new flats.

Overseen by inspector Zoe Hill, the inquiry heard evidence from council officers, developers, architects, tenants and councillors at Brent Cross Holiday Inn and Hendon Town Hall.

Protesters marched to the town hall last week to show their support for tenants who face being moved out of the estate. 

In a closing statement to the inquiry, Dan Knowles, a chartered surveyor who has been representing tenants at the inquiry alongside Jasmin Parsons, outlined the objectors’ case against allowing the compulsory purchase orders to go ahead.

Mr Knowles argued that the CPOs would interfere with the human rights of tenants on the estate, and that there “is not a compelling case in the public interest” for them to go ahead.

Concerns were also raised about affordable housing, with Mr Knowles explaining that tenants felt there was an “insufficient” amount of social rented properties in the scheme, and feared they would be priced out of the estate.

He also argued that without the developer’s viability study – which determined the amount of social and affordable housing in the scheme – being released, it is "impossible" to know whether a scheme with a larger portion of social and affordable housing could have been provided.

Mr Knowles also argued that the consultation carried out had been insufficient, and that if the 2002 ballot – in which tenants agreed to the regeneration – was carried out again, it would result in a majority against the current regeneration proposals.

The use of non-secure tenancies on the estate was also highlighted.

Mr Knowles said: "The tenants believe they are as much a part of the estate as secure tenants are so should be dealt with in the same manner."

Mr Knowles concluded that tenants believed that regeneration was required on the West Hendon Estate, but that if the compulsory purchase was confirmed, it would allow regeneration that was not in the public interest.

In a statement on behalf of the council and developers, Neil King QC said that the order was firmly in the public interest.

He also argued that much of the substance of objections – especially those raised by councillors and Labour London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore – stemmed from a political disagreement with current housing policies.

On the issue of consultation, Mr King argued that there was no need or legal obligation to repeat the 2002 ballot, and said that tenants had been given opportunity to make their views known during the planning process.

Speaking about the use of non-secure tenancies on the estate, he stated that they constituted an “appropriate and sensible use of resources”.

He also argued that the 2002 pledge, which tenants were balloted on, did not apply to non-secure tenants.

Mr King argued that the scheme would contribute “very significantly” to the social, economic and environmental well being of the area, and that the scheme’s public benefits “justify the inevitable interference” with human rights.

He concluded by stating that there was a compelling case in the public interest for the order.