Brent Council could use specialist powers to secure land at a major regeneration site if negotiations break down.

Its cabinet approved plans to potentially make use of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) as part of the South Kilburn scheme, which would allow it to purchase any outstanding leasehold interests.

CPOs can be used by councils to buy properties or take over land without the consent of the owner.

Nick Ljuština, director of property and assets at Brent Council, explained the use of these powers is rare but would allow it to “move the regeneration forward if we should need it”.

According to the cabinet report 98 per cent of the 86 acquired leaseholds at the site have been through negotiation.

A further 79 residential leasehold interests remain outstanding, alongside four commercial ones.

Officers added that, to “aid” leasehold interest acquisitions, the council can offer shared ownership opportunities to residents while, in “exceptional circumstances”, the prospect of council tenancies could be put forward.

They anticipate that up to 15 residents could be eligible for shared ownership offers, while a further five could benefit from council tenancies.

The South Kilburn regeneration scheme has been a divisive issue since a review of the plans was undertaken in 2016.

Councillors insist it will benefit those living there and the borough as a whole, citing the 2019 residents’ ballot where 84 per cent supported the rebuild.

However, there have been issues surrounding the quality of homes on offer, spiralling service charges to residents and safety issues around cladding at the site.