West Hendon Estate, North London

This 1960s & 1970s housing estate comprised of low and high rise flats. The construction type was Bison which is a form of Large panel concrete construction.

Our involvement began shortly prior to the Compulsory Purchase Order being made in June 2014. It quickly became apparent that the most of the estate’s residents felt angered and disenfranchised by a regeneration scheme which had in many ways been badly managed.

In response to ‘The London Borough of Barnet (West Hendon Regeneration Area) Compulsory Purchase Order No 1 2014’, we submitted over 400 pages’ worth of objections on behalf of over 50 clients. In January 2015, the Order was considered at a Public Inquiry under court rules. Our Director, Dan Knowles LLB PG Dip MRICS, was the residents’ only professionally qualified Expert Witness at the Inquiry. He also participated every day as the residents’ only professional advocate, cross examining a large number of Expert Witnesses representing London Borough of Barnet. His opposite number at the Inquiry, representing London Borough of Barnet was a QC, supported by a Barrister.

Negotiations were protracted and both technically and emotionally challenging. Due to a stalemate, it was agreed that a voluntary arbitration process would be entered into. As the Surveyors representing by far the most leaseholders, we were the only company to submit evidence to the Arbitrators. Our evidence totalled close to 100 pages, including rebuttals, and saw significantly increased offers. We negotiated a further incentive payment for leaseholders, subject to a large number of agreements being reached, which saw settlements even higher than the arbitrators’ reports.

Over the course of our first 17 months on the estate, we negotiated –

1) Settlement increases averaging close to £120,000 for the majority of properties

2) A service charge subsidy to make new-build flats on the estate more affordable for our clients

3) Preferential purchases prices for our clients to buy properties on the new estate at values £tens of thousands lower than the market was paying

4) What we understand to be the highest financial settlement for any leaseholder on the estate

During the course of our involvement, we worked closely with residents’ groups such as Our West Hendon and Peoples Power West Hendon.

This high profile regeneration scheme has seen extensive media coverage, both locally and nationally, and is regularly quoted in printed press. In March 2016, it was was the main focus of an hour long BBC documentary on housing regeneration called “The Estate We’re In”.

In the first phase, we represented 28 out of the 34 home owners. In the second phase, we represent 32 of the 34 home owners. We also have a number of clients in the third phase which has not yet began.

In the second phase, we negotiated detailed terms for ‘Put notices’, ‘Lock in notices’ and Indexation to provide our clients with budget certainty when buying elsewhere.

 

West Hendon leaseholders said of us:

“no way I would have achieved such a fantastic outcome without your dedication … it was like watching David and Goliath” Siobhan

“excellent service” Diane

“outstanding” Facel

“professional manner” Alex