Plans to demolish a “precious” vicarage were withdrawn from debate by councillors at the last minute.

Following legal objections, Barnet Borough Council was forced to remove Church Walk House, in Childs Hill, Cricklewood, from the agenda for its planning committee.

More than 200 neighbours have backed a campaign to help protect the site, which could be bulldozed and turned into a new retirement complex and 50 flats.

The planning application also had to be postponed when it was due to be heard by the committee late last year.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jack Cohen, who met with residents to hear their concerns about the plans last week, called the latest turn of events “extraordinary”.