The leader of Barnet Council has called on the Mayor of London to end what he calls a “conflict of interest” over large-scale development plans.

Cllr Dan Thomas (Conservative, Finchley Church End) wrote to Sadiq Khan this week asking him not to use his powers to overrule planning committee decisions in cases where he has a “vested interest” in developments going ahead.

Transport for London (TfL) – which is chaired by the mayor – is planning several large housing schemes at Tube stations across London, including in Barnet and neighbouring Enfield.

As well as being chairman of TfL, the mayor can act as a planning authority on applications of potential strategic importance to London, which include developments of more than 150 homes.

This means that even if a council’s planning committee refuses permission for such a development, the mayor can “call in” the decision and allow the scheme to go ahead or delegate the decision to another senior member of the Greater London Authority.

Cllr Thomas said: “While the mayor has the power to overturn planning decisions made by the council, as he did just last year in Mill Hill, we believe that they should never be applied where he has a vested interest.

“Our residents should always feel as though decisions regarding their communities are made by people with their interests at heart. It is clear that Sadiq Khan has a conflict of interest when TfL, a body that he chairs, makes proposals to the council.

“As mayor, he has the power to overturn decisions made by our planning committee or delegate them to one of his politically appointed deputy mayors. I am asking him instead to recuse himself from any ‘call-ins’ on applications made by bodies that he chairs and instead refer them to the Secretary of State.

“This conflict of interest must be dealt with so that the people of Barnet can know that decisions are being made with transparency, good due process and fairness.”

TfL and its development partners are planning to build up to 560 homes at Finchley Central Underground Station and up to 300 homes at High Barnet Underground Station.

The plans have sparked opposition from campaigners and Conservative politicians, who claim the schemes would dramatically alter the character of the suburbs.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The mayor has a vital role in London’s planning process and makes no apology for doing everything in his power to deliver the genuinely affordable homes Londoners desperately need.

“There is a clear, well-established process for mayoral decision-making – including allowing the mayor to delegate decisions to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

“The Secretary of State has the power to take over planning applications if he sees fit, and it is for him to decide if an application warrants his attention”.