Part of a former office block will be converted into flats after councillors rubber-stamped the plans this week.

Offices at Brittania House, a 1960s building in High Road, North Finchley, will be turned into 23 flats with balconies.

More and more offices are being turned into flats to deal with a housing shortage that is particularly acute in London.

This trend has led to fears that some flats in converted buildings are too small to provide adequate living spaces.

But all of the flats approved at Tuesday’s (May 14) Finchley and Golders Green area planning committee comply with internal space standards.

There will be a mix of one, two and three-bed units, and 20 per cent of the flats will be classed as affordable.

Five objections were received, warning of overdevelopment, increased rubbish and parking pressures, while the Finchley Society claimed the balconies would lead to a loss of privacy.

David Alton, director at ADA architects, told the committee: “It is worth mentioning the applicant has been instructed to re-clad the building to make it nicer to look at.

“All of the flats are within internal space standards.”

He added that there would be 13 parking spaces and 26 cycle storage spaces for the new flats.

Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Labour member for Woodhouse, asked what the sizes of the affordable flats would be.

Mr Alton said they would be “a mix of one, two and three beds” but admitted he did not have a breakdown.

Cllr John Marshall, Conservative member for Garden Suburb, said he was surprised by the response.

He added: “You have done a viability assessment. Would you want to ask the council what it would like?”

Mr Alton pointed out that he did not carry out the assessment.

Lesley Feldman, area planning manager at Barnet Council, said: “The viability report said it could accommodate 20 per cent affordable.

“Effectively, once the legal agreement is underway, it will be up to the council and the applicant to do what they want with the mix of units.”

Councillors agreed at least two of the affordable flats should be three-bedroom and the front of the balconies should have opaque glazing.

The committee voted unanimously to approve the application.