Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has spoken out against plans to build new homes on green belt land.

The executors of Whalebones, an 11 acre site between Wellhouse Lane and the new Elmbank development, say they cannot afford to maintain the land and are selling it to build new homes.

But Ms Villiers has opposed this, saying though the green area is partially protected as part of the Wood Street conservation area, she will work with local residents to save the site.

She said: “The loss of these green fields to development would be damaging for our local environment.

“I have consulted constituents in the road around the area and there is strong opposition to building on Whalebones.”

The estate has mainly been used as agricultural land since the death of Gwyneth Cowing, whose estate owns the land and is seeking planning permission for new homes.

If permission is granted, development firm Hill will buy the land and take forward the house-building.

Ms Villiers said: “I recognise that the executors are seeking to engage constructively with local people and they want to avoid development which is too dense or obtrusive.

“I believe that building on Whalebones, even within the constraints they have outlined, would still be a great loss to our community.”

The Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers currently have premises in Whalebones – as well as a local farmer – but the developers have said these groups will have new premises provided.