A disused Royal Mail delivery office will be knocked down to make way for flats.

The former Whetstone Delivery Office will be demolished and 41 flats in blocks of four and five storeys built on the Oakleigh Road site.

A health centre, children’s day nursery or a gym could be provided on the ground floor of the development, which will also include 35 parking spaces.

The flats are currently planned for private sale – despite the council setting a target of 40 per cent affordable homes for developments of ten or more units.

But this is subject to review, and the developer has agreed to provide more than £800,000 to help build affordable housing on other sites.

Barnet Council received 14 letters of objection to the plans, which were discussed at a meeting of Chipping Barnet Area Planning Committee on Tuesday (November 12).

Increased traffic congestion and overdevelopment were among the concerns raised by opponents.

But at Tuesday’s meeting, an agent for developer GM Developments said the scheme would benefit neighbours.

He said: “The scheme will deliver much-needed new housing in a town centre location and rejuvenate the site with ground floor community use.

“It is designed to integrate and enhance the surrounding environment. It will enhance conditions for neighbouring properties around the existing delivery yard.”

Cllr Reema Patel (Labour, Coppetts) said a health centre was likely to be more beneficial than a gym and asked why they had been put in the same use category.

The agent said the applicant “has assured us we will be working with the NHS Trust to get them on site”, adding that a gym would still be an appropriate community use.

Committee chairman Cllr Stephen Sowerby (Conservative, Oakleigh) said he and Cllr Richard Cornelius had repeatedly made the argument for a new health centre in the area.

He said: “Every time the council has invited the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) to open a new health centre, they have refused and said the requirement is not there.

“We are constantly asking them for a new health centre in Whetstone – but getting them here is not easy.”

Cllr Sowerby said he agreed with planning officers that shops are closing regularly “whereas gyms are very popular”.

The plans were then approved by the committee.