A 50-year-old family business that was destroyed in a fire will be rebuilt after plans were approved by councillors.

The decision means the owner of Kay’s supermarket will be able to open a new shop and provide 29 flats at Princes Parade in Golders Green.

This will replace the retail space and 26 studio flats that were damaged in the fire, which ripped through the building in June last year.

The applicant, Mr A Langberg, said he had invested all his life in the business to be able to support his family and serve the local community.

He said: “My father took over this very small shop in 1968, which is now 50 years ago, and as the family grew and community grew, the business also grew.

“It became an integral part of the lives of three generations of Golders Green communities.”

Mr Langberg said the fire affected the business “terribly” and meant the community had lost an important local hub.

He claimed the new flats would be built in accordance with the London Plan, while the new retail space would be “of high quality and secure additional jobs for the community”.

Neighbours sent 13 letters of objection to the plans, raising concerns over a lack of parking spaces, overcrowding and overdevelopment.

The scheme will provide four parking spaces for cars and 49 spaces for bicycles.

The council received 26 letters in support of the plans.

Councillor Claire Farrier, Labour member for East Finchley, asked why there was no provision for affordable housing in the plans.

Barnet planning policies state that new housing developments need to provide 40 per cent affordable homes on site, with lower amounts only accepted in “exceptional circumstances”.

Cllr Farrier suggested the £35,000 sum the applicant was asked to pay to fund affordable homes elsewhere was too small.

But Cllr Melvin Cohen, Conservative member for Golders Green, pointed out that an independent viability assessment stated that affordable housing could not be provided.

He said: “The review did recommend payment in lieu of £35,000, which has been agreed with the applicant”, adding that this could change as the situation was kept under review.

Eight councillors voted in favour of the proposals, with two voting against and one abstention.