Neighbours say they are in “uncharted waters” after plans to bulldoze a vicarage and replace it with homes for the elderly were pulled from debate at the eleventh hour.

More than 100 residents planned to speak out against proposals to build 50 new flats and a care home in Prospect Road, Child’s Hill, at Barnet Borough Council’s planning committee this evening.

But the authority was forced to delay the hearing after campaigners discovered the application was listed as a residential development, instead of as a care home.

Protestors suffered a major blow last year after the application was withdrawn at the last minute when it emerged a sunlight analysis had not taken place.

Today, Childs Hill Councillor Jack Cohen, who has been a planning committee member for 27 years, branded the situation a “right mess”.

He said: “It’s extraordinary. It’s not good enough that this is the second time in less than six months the council has had to put the application on hold at the eleventh hour.

“Residents are being messed around. I know that at least a hundred people were getting ready to attend the planning committee and now once again, it’s all up in the air.

“I will be asking the council’s chief executive serious questions about the manner in which this planning application is being handled.

“I don’t know what happens next. We are in uncharted waters.”

The 200 people objecting to the flats say they are not against the idea of a residential home, but want to ensure it is of the right height and size.

They fear it will look like a "tower block on its side" and a "skyscraper in the middle of a country lane".

Harriet Green, of Prospect Road, previously told the Times Series: “It’s grotesque, it’s going to be overbearing and overpowering".

A statement from Developers Central and Cecil House said: “The application for Church Walk was resubmitted in November after full daylight and sunlight analyses had taken place.

“Having addressed all of the concerns about light, there was a late challenge to the use class for which we applied.

“This is a technical issue and C&C is providing relevant information about how we, and others, run successful extra-care housing elsewhere.

“The application has not been withdrawn and will be heard at a future committee meeting. We look forward to explaining then how we can help older people in Barnet to live independent lives.”

The Times Series is awaiting a comment from Barnet Borough Council.