A scout leader has pleaded with councillors to rethink plans for a block of flats next to a campsite that he warned would threaten their “green and pleasant land”.

Clive Hailey, deputy district commissioner of Barnet Scouts, told the council’s planning committee on Monday (March 4) that the Millbrook Park development in Mill Hill would have a serious impact on the activities they offer.

He said neighbouring Frith Grange campsite currently attracts visitors from all over the world – but the construction of a six-storey block of flats five feet from the site could put them off visiting.

Mr Hailey said: “Frith Grange campsite – a green field of just 1.6 acres – is the only place within the entire borough where traditional outdoor scouting skills can still take place.

“What we offer scouts, guides and other Barnet residents at Frith is about to be seriously impacted by the erection of high-rise apartment blocks.

“Frith, which we currently market as a greenfield site, will become a grass patch hemmed in by brick walls.

“Visitors from around the country and abroad, from whom a substantial amount of our income is derived, will no longer find our site such a green and pleasant land.”

But Cllr Stephen Sowerby, Conservative member for Oakleigh, said: “I fear you are over-exaggerating. It does not need to restrict your activities.

“You can carry on what you are doing on private land. There is going to be a development there – you just have to continue with your activities.”

Mr Hailey replied: “Our members will no doubt become accustomed to it. What we are concerned about is the international marketing we do to bring people who come from all over the world.”

Phase six of the Millbrook Park development will provide 310 apartments, including 48 affordable homes, and commercial space.

The council received 251 objections to the plans and no letters of support.

Tim Sturgess, the developer’s planning adviser, said the proposals had been amended in response to objections.

He said additional boundary screening would ensure the buildings had “an acceptable relationship with the scout camp”.

Mr Sturgess added that the scheme was of a high standard of design and would provide new homes, retail services and jobs.

Cllr Claire Farrier, Labour member for East Finchley, said: “This has been a little jewel in north London. Increasingly, Barnet is becoming less and less a green borough.

“This little area is needed by our children.”

Despite the objections, the application was approved, with eight Conservative committee members voting in favour of the plans.

Two Labour members voted against and two abstained.