In 2013 there was a cross party campaign opposing the redevelopment of the West Hendon Estate in Barnet which borders on the Welsh Harp. The biggest scandal of course is the treatment of social housing tenants on the existing estate. Despite an amazing resistance they have effectively been socially cleansed to make way for a luxury development.
There is another scandal which has changed the local landscape for ever. A luxury multi-storey block now dominates that end of the Welsh Harp and while its residents enjoy a wonderful natural landscape from their flats, those on the other side of the reservoir are greeted by a huge tower block on the edge of a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
There was cross-party opposition to the development from Brent Council LINK but Barnet went ahead supported by Eric Pickles who was the Communities and Local Government Secretary at the time, as well as Boris Johnson, the London Mayor.
Three years on the extent of Barnet Council's social and environmental vandalism is clear as the development steams ahead. Campaigners warned that the proposed multi-storey block was completely out of character with the surroundng area, suited more to a development in the City of London that outer-London suburbia. The fear is that this will set a precedent for further develpment on the banks of the Welsh Harp.