An application to turn a former missionary building into flats will go to the planning inspectorate on appeal.

Developer Abbeytown put forward a planning application in May for 33 Lyonsdown Road, formerly a building for the Society of African Missionaries, into a block of 22 flats with underground parking.

This was refused and now it will go to the Planning Inspectorate for appeal.

David Massam, who wrote to Barnet Council on behalf of residents to oppose the original application, said: “As the developers have not accepted the decision of Barnet Council, the same local residents who combined to oppose the original plan to over-develop the site will be making representations to the national planning authority and have asked Cllr Sowerby, and MP Theresa Villiers, to intervene again on our behalf.”

But Simon Gerrard, director of Abbeytown and managing director of estate agents Martyn Gerrard, said: “We have put this to appeal because all of the experts agree that it was acceptable as for its scale and mass.”

He added that he did not believe it should have been refused as they made considerable changes during the application process to ensure it met the relevant criteria, and he believes it is suitable.

A Planning Inspectorate spokesman said: “Inspectors are independent and impartial and appointed for their skills and experience.

"When deciding an appeal inspectors give full consideration to the evidence submitted by all parties to the appeal, any representations made and take account of current planning legislation, policy and guidance."