Plans for a six-storey block of flats near an area of low-rise houses could provide 18 homes – but locals have raised fears over the impact on the neighbourhood.

The proposed scheme, on the edge of East Barnet Village, would involve knocking down a butcher’s shop and building a mixed-use development with commercial space on the ground floor and basement parking.

A planning statement claims it would create “a contemporary building … which would improve the vernacular of the existing street scene and will help raise the standard of design in the area”.

But 54 letters of objection have been sent in response to the application, many of which raise concerns the building would be out of character with the area and could cause traffic and parking problems.

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and East Barnet councillor Felix Byers have submitted a joint statement claiming the flats would be out of place in an area of “low-rise suburban homes”.

They also suggest the 21 parking spaces would not be enough, as many occupants could own more than one car.

The architects, Brooks Murray, claim the flats – most of which would be two-bedroom – would be affordable.

But under the current plans, all the units would be sold at market value – despite a borough-wide target aiming for 40 per cent affordable homes in developments of more than ten units.

The proposals have yet to be discussed by councillors at a planning committee meeting.