Cars will be allowed at a development that was originally supposed to be car-free – even though it is a short walk from a tube station.

The decision to allow cars at the former police station in Finchley Road, Golders Green, which is being turned into flats, came despite neighbours’ fears that more traffic on nearby roads could pose a risk to children.

Councillors granted permission for a car-free development at the site – which is just over half a mile from Golders Green underground station – in March.

But the developer successfully appealed against the council’s move to stop people living in the flats from parking in a nearby controlled parking zone.

Daniel Asher, who lives on Temple Gardens, told Monday’s (July 22) meeting of Finchley and Golders Green area planning committee that residents were “extremely concerned” about their children’s safety.

He said: “The immediate vicinity is an unsafe area. Residents will be forced into dangerous (driving) practices – reversing back up the road, stopping in the road to unload, circling around.

“Children regularly cycle across this small pedestrian area. I personally can see the danger, at nursery time and pick-up time, right outside my home.”

Another resident, Ron Banerjee, claimed a parking survey was flawed because it took place during construction of the flats, while many residents stopped leaving their cars in the area.

But councillors’ options were limited by the Government planning inspector’s ruling that the council was wrong to try and prevent occupants of the flats having parking permits.

Conservative councillor for Garden Suburb Cllr John Marshall likened the planning inspector’s ruling to an umpire’s decision in cricket and said the committee could not oppose it.

Labour councillor for Woodhouse Cllr Alan Schneiderman said it was “unfortunate we can’t have car-free developments” so close to Golders Green tube station.

Cllr Schneiderman asked Emma Benedict, representing the applicant, whether she accepted the application had originally been granted as a car-free development.

Ms Benedict said the applicant agreed it would be “suitable” for car-free development, but the planning inspector and the parking survey showed there was capacity for parking.

A council highways officer told councillors he had accounted for the fact that people had stopped parking in the area during construction when he surveyed the site.

We have a new Twitter account

For more breaking news, local headlines, What’s On features and sport, follow our brand new Twitter account: @BarnetTimes

We also have a Facebook page. ‘Like’ our page to keep up-to-date with news in Barnet.