A plan setting out how Barnet will provide more than 35,000 homes over 15 years has moved a step closer to being formally adopted.

The submission of the borough’s draft Local Plan to the government was approved by a majority of councillors during a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Setting out the policies that will be used by councillors when deciding whether to approve new developments, the plan aims to ensure a minimum of 35,460 new homes are built in the borough of Barnet by 2036. 

Council leader Dan Thomas told Tuesday’s meeting it contained policies to limit the spread of gambling premises and tall buildings, mitigate climate change, and provide sustainable energy for residents.

But Labour criticised the plan, claiming the document lacked ambition. Two Conservative councillors – Lisa Rutter and Roberto Weeden-Sanz, who both represent Brunswick Park ward – also failed to back the submission. 

Labour’s Tim Roberts said: "While this document has merits, it lacks ambition on such important areas as climate change, the protection of green space, and the protection of the borough against overdevelopment. 

"It does not go far enough to protect the borough from over-intensification, inappropriate density and inappropriate height of new buildings – especially in town centres, which in Barnet are largely suburban in nature. The policies around these areas are not robust enough."

Cllr Roberts claimed the plan suggested "super-tall buildings" would be allowed in some town centres. He also called for more robust protection of open space and the Green Belt, and stronger policies to tackle climate change.

Gabriel Rozenberg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, listed what he claimed were "deficiencies" with the plan but said his group would vote for it to move it forward to the next stage.

Responding to the comments, Cllr Thomas claimed the draft Local Plan was similar to those produced by other boroughs because the documents had to conform with City Hall’s London Plan. He added that housing targets were set by the Greater London Authority, and Barnet was tasked with building "far more" homes than neighbouring Harrow or Enfield.

Cllr Thomas pointed out that the public had more chance to comment on the plan following the submission to the government. The next stage will see the government appoint a planning inspector to carry out an examination in public to test the draft Local Plan’s soundness and compliance with legal requirements.

Conservative members voted in favour of the submission to the government, apart from Cllr Rutter and Cllr Weeden-Sanz, who abstained. The Lib Dems voted in favour, while Labour were against.