Barnet Council’s plan to buy a retail park as part of a major regeneration scheme has been given the green light.

Senior councillors approved the purchase of Brent Cross South Retail Park at a meeting of the urgency committee on Tuesday.

The deal is designed to ensure the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme – set to provide 6,700 homes, a Thameslink station and a new shopping centre – goes ahead as planned.

It is not yet known how much the council will spend on the site, which was put up for sale last year by owners Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard, as the figure is currently classed as commercially sensitive information.

The retail park lies to the south of the North Circular Road, a short distance from Brent Cross Shopping Centre, and is home to outlets such as Next, Sports Direct, TK Maxx and DFS.

Council leader Cllr Dan Thomas told the committee: “There is a housing shortage still, and we will not address this, or rising house prices, if we do not build the homes that people need.

“We are committed, as a council, to delivering homes for current and future generations, and this is why we are considering the acquisition of the retail park. This will reduce uncertainty and allow us to bring forward the delivery of new homes.”

John Dix, a member of the public, asked the committee what level of certainty the council had that the site would be needed in five years’ time, to ensure it did not lose out on any drop in its value.

Cllr Thomas said the council was “100 per cent committed” to regenerating the site, describing it as “absolutely crucial” to the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme.

The council leader added that a mitigation plan had been drawn up to address any risks to the local authority.

Cllr Thomas pledged to share as much information about the transaction as possible with the public once it had been completed.

After discussing the commercially sensitive information during a private session, Cllr Thomas and the other committee members – deputy council leader Cllr David Longstaff and Labour leader Cllr Barry Rawlings – approved the buyup.

The council expects to complete the deal by the end of January.

We’ve launched a new Facebook group for politics fans in the borough. Please join the conversation over at North London politics – Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.