Frustration over a new superstore coming to town has erupted after it was given permission to build.

In the Barnet Council planning committee meeting on November 23 it was unanimously decided that an Aldi store will be built in East Barnet, as their application was given permission.

But residents have since spoken out against it, saying they believe the decision was made based on an untrue assumption that more people were in favour of the store than against it.

Andy McTeare, who was present at the meeting, said: "We felt the whole exercise was a sham and seemed a done deal as evidenced by the almost unanimous vote in favour."

Mr McTeare said officers and councillors stated more than once that more were in favour than objected, but the council's planning portal states 131 objections and 91 in favour of those who put their view across using this method.

He also fears the streets will become more congested with the store in place, as it only has 60 parking spaces allotted and 50 members of staff, that the area will become more intimidating for pupils who are based nearby, and that noise and light pollution will negatively impact those living in the surrounding streets.

He has been in contact with the Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers, who also opposed the application as she believed new homes should have been built on the site instead.

She said: "Many local residents also opposed the plans for a new store though some support it. When making decisions, the Barnet Council planning committee have to stick to planning rules which only give them certain grounds to turn down an application.

"That unfortunately means that sometimes they have to accept an application even if there is genuine local opposition, if there are not valid reasons in planning law to turn it down.

"If they were to reject an application without sound legal reasons for doing so, they could be overturned on appeal costing money to council taxpayers."

Mr McTeare was also frustrated to see what he considered to be inconsistency when the Paddy Power store in Colindale was rejected, as he believes the Aldi store had similar levels of local opposition which should have been taken into more consideration.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: "This application was given planning approval when the committee met on November 23.

"Each planning application is considered on its individual merits and the committee gives full consideration to any comments received, objecting to, or supporting an application, before a decision is taken."