A developer has won permission to build tower blocks up to 24 storeys high at the site of a car dealership.

Parkside Investments was given the green light to build 470 new homes at the Crown Honda showroom in Hyde Estate Road, Colindale, at a meeting of the strategic planning committee on Tuesday.

The scheme, known as The Rockery, involves knocking down the existing units and building three blocks of flats 20, 23 and 24 storeys high, with 35 per cent of the homes classed as affordable.

It will also provide indoor community space, a café, retail opportunities, workspaces and storage.

Speaking against the plans, Cllr Gill Sargeant (Labour, Colindale) claimed residents had given up objecting to large schemes.

She told the meeting: “(Residents) know the council is strapped for cash and has to approve these high-rise developments, because they know the only way the council can continue to provide services is to have regeneration on this scale.”

This Is Local London: A computer-generated image of the developmentA computer-generated image of the development

Cllr Sargeant complained there were only 38 homes planned at affordable rent levels, 21 of which would be three-bedroom units. “It is just not something we can say will really make a big dent in Barnet’s housing provision,” she said.

But architect Christophe Egret, founding director of Studio Egret West, told councillors the scheme would help the borough’s post-pandemic recovery.

“Anticipating an evolving post-pandemic, flexible lifestyle, the proposed combination of generously sized balconies, winter gardens and roof terraces allow flexible spaces for working, resting at home and accessing nature,” he said.

“These building forms, carefully sculpted with high-quality materiality and detailing, provide an architectural interest sat next to the emerging rectangular neighbours, offering an organic response to both orientation and experience.”

Committee member Cllr Claire Farrier (Labour, East Finchley) praised the design of the blocks but criticised other aspects of the development.

“What we need is affordable rents,” she said. “I do not see why there should not be 70 per cent affordable rent there.

“I estimate there are about 2,500 to 2,700 new homes going up in that bit of the Edgware Road from Sainsburys up to The Rockery, so there clearly is a lack of infrastructure for all of these. There seems to be no strategic planning for this whole area.”

This Is Local London: The Crown Honda showroom in Hyde Estate Road (Image: Google Maps)The Crown Honda showroom in Hyde Estate Road (Image: Google Maps)

Responding to her concerns, planning officer Carl Griffiths said the cumulative impact of the housing schemes had been assessed and was found to be acceptable, with a £6.5 million contribution secured for infrastructure.

He added that the “adjusted tenure split” would allow for more affordable homes to be provided.

Cllr Tim Roberts (Labour, Underhill) also raised concerns. “Why were four and five-bedroom units, which have been specified as a need in the borough, not considered for a 24-storey high building?” he said.

Mr Griffiths replied: “I would suggest that the two, three and one bedrooms would be more appropriate for this location than the more spacious four and five-bedroom homes that might be more appropriate for a less urban, sustainable, brownfield location.”

When it came to the vote, seven Conservative members of the committee voted to approve the plans, with four Labour councillors and Lib Dem councillor Jess Brayne voting against.

The application will now be referred to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who can approve the scheme, reject it or call for it to be amended.