Plans to build student flats up to seven stories high have sparked concerns over the impact on a nearby school.

Developer Rooms and Studios Management wants to build student accommodation at 46 Watford Way, Hendon.

Barnet Council granted permission for UK Overseas Contracts Ltd to build a five-storey block of student accommodation at the site – which would have provided 59 units – in 2011.

The application by Rooms and Studios Management, submitted in February this year, is for a part-four, part-seven storey building that would provide 191 rooms.

Opponents have raised concerns over the impact on St Mary’s and St John’s Church of England School, which lies just behind the site.

Writing on the council’s planning portal, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore said: “The safety and wellbeing of pupils ought to be the utmost priority when assessing this application, and I believe that a development that would be able to overlook the children in their school environment would be a serious invasion of their privacy and safety.”

School principal Martin Sarrao has also lodged an objection on the planning portal, stating: “We are vehemently opposed to the proposed development as submitted, because it would result in a very harmful overdevelopment and intensification of the use of the site to the detriment of the amenity of the neighbouring properties, in particular our school and nursery premises”.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the developer says she scheme would “significantly enhance the site’s offer, whilst providing much-needed student accommodation as well as greatly improved, modern commercial floorspace”.

It adds that a “screened, tree-lined boundary” would remove the risk of overlooking onto the school.

Cyril Ogunmakin, from developer Living Quarters, said: “The welfare of our neighbours, including the children at St Mary’s and St John’s Church of England School, is of utmost importance.

“Before councillors review this scheme, we will address any worries about overlooking that the school has.  We have already ensured that all windows towards the school only let in light but do not allow views.

“We have offered to provide a temporary playground during the construction process, and we continue to engage with the school.

“We were not involved in any previous scheme here and when we bought the site in September 2018, we recognised that this is an excellent and convenient location for student living, which will reduce pressure on family-sized homes in the area.”

The application has yet to be considered by a council planning committee. The plans can be viewed by visiting Barnet Council’s planning portal and entering reference 20/1111/FUL.

The planning portal is available at: