A government minister insists no final decision has been made on the future location of a Hindu free school expected to move out of Harrow - and says two sites in Mill Hill and Edgware are still “only options”.

Housing estates in the two areas were earmarked as potential locations for the Avanti House free school when it moves from its current home in Tudor Road, Wealdstone later this year.

Residents fear the move will increase traffic and Barnet’s GLA member Andrew Dismore last month wrote to Lord Nash, the minister in charge of free schools, voicing their concerns.

In a letter responding to Mr Dismore last week, Lord Nash said he recognised the issues but insisted the future location of the school had not been decided.

He wrote: “Both sites are only options on a long list of potential sites the Education Funding Agency is considering.”

Labour politician Mr Dismore suggested the Metropolitan Police’s Peel Centre training site be considered as an alternative, though Lord Nash claimed investigations showed the site was too small.

But Mr Dismore claimed “something fishy” was going on, and accused the local authority of attempting to secure the site for housing developments already proposed for the area.

He said: “While the minister says that both the Fairway and Broadfields sites are “only options”, time is running out for the school’s planned and necessary move in September into temporary premises.

“It’s time for the Government, the mayor, Barnet Council and the school to play fair with local residents and say just what they have been up to in secret behind the scenes.”

Leader of the council Cllr Richard Cornelius said: “I had hoped, with his election to the London Assembly, that Mr Dismore would have moved above such petty political claims of ‘fishiness’ to a higher level of debate.

"We are very supportive of free schools in the borough, particularly Avanti School, but recognise the importance of them being suitably located.

"Labour – on the other hand - are in a total mess with their education policy, frankly not knowing if they are coming or going on free schools.”