Plans for an eight-storey block of flats and offices in an area of low-rise homes have been refused by councillors.

Developer Readyset Resources’ proposals for the site of a former police station at 133 Brent Street, Hendon, were turned down at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

Barnet Council received 52 letters of objection to the plans and only eight in support, with opponents warning they would be out of character, overlook neighbours and worsen parking and congestion problems.

Planning officers said the scheme should be refused, pointing out in a report that the site lies outside an area earmarked for tall buildings in the local plan.

Speaking during the meeting, opponent Ashley Katz told councillors: “The proposed development is a tall building and therefore not compatible with the immediate neighbourhood in terms of setting, scale and massing.

“The siting and design detract from the nature of the surrounding properties and the quality of life for those living in its immediate vicinity.”

Mr Katz added that the scheme would undermine the suburban character of the area and fail to provide choice for all households in the affordable and market sectors.

“The proposed development does not seek to protect and enhance the local neighbourhood parade of shops in terms of contribution to sustainable suburbs and shopping – in fact, it does the opposite, by acting as a drain on the already hard-up and under-pressure local high street community,” he said.

A supporter of the scheme, named as Mr Bishop, who lives in Westchester Drive, told the committee he had been unable to find local business space, as many offices had been converted into homes.

“(The development) will deliver employment, housing and economic activity, which our local centres desperately need to survive and flourish in this digital age, which is killing so many loved high streets in our beloved borough,” he added.

Barry Ackerman, director at Readyset Resources, said the building had been designed to avoid overlooking and called it a “catalyst for regeneration”.

He claimed the decision to approve blocks up to 24 storeys high at the Crown Honda showroom in Colindale supported the application, as that site was not in an area designed for tall buildings.

When it came to the vote, Cllrs Richard Cornelius (Conservative, Totteridge) and Elliot Simberg (Conservative, Hale) voted against officers’ recommendation to refuse the scheme.

Cllrs Danny Rich (Labour, West Finchley) Tim Roberts (Labour, Underhill), Gill Sargeant (Labour, Colindale) and Helene Richman (Conservative, West Hendon) voted in favour of refusal.