Plans for a housing scheme on “heavily used” green space will move forward despite opposition from residents and councillors.

Barnet Council’s housing arm, Barnet Homes, wants to build 43 affordable homes on sites at The Grange Estate in East Finchley.

It has secured £4.3million from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to deliver the scheme, parts of which would be built on green space next to existing homes.

An outline business case for the development of the sites in Tarling Road, Brownswell Road, High Road and Central Avenue was presented to the housing and growth committee on February 17.

During the meeting, committee chairman Cllr Richard Cornelius read out a statement submitted by a local resident who opposed the plan to build on green space.

It said: "The green space on Brownswell Road is very important to all the local residents. This space is heavily used by children and adults on a daily basis. It is the only flat piece of green space that we have in the area that children can play sports on.

"To lose this green space would be detrimental not only to the area but to people’s mental health and wellbeing."

Cllr Claire Farrier, who represents East Finchley for the Labour group, said she supported the provision of social housing but added that the proposed scheme “falls short of improving the area” and “diminishes and removes communal amenities”.

She also said it went against the council’s parks and open spaces strategy, which identifies East Finchley as “particularly deficient in park provision”.

Cllr Farrier added: “Further consultation [with residents] is still taking place […] This business case is coming forward too early, before the full consultation and amendments to these plans have been made.”

Labour’s Ross Houston called for the business case to be deferred and for the committee to ask Barnet Homes to rework the plans in consultation with local residents and councillors.

But Cllr Cornelius said he had been advised by officers that delaying approval of the business case meant the council would lose GLA funding essential for the delivery of the new affordable homes.

He added: “There will be the money for a Muga [multi-use games area], a facility for various sports, which is thought to be much safer to play in rather than open spaces that go on to streets.”

Council leader Dan Thomas said the only other open space in the area was “car parking space, or paths, or roads”.

He added: “We can’t build on the car parks, because there is already a parking problem there. If we are to build new homes in this area, we can’t do it without the loss of grassed areas, unfortunately.”

Cllr Thomas said the committee needed to strike a balance between providing enough play areas and addressing the “desperate shortage” of homes in the borough.

Labour councillors backed Cllr Houston’s amendment calling for the business case to be deferred, but they were outvoted by the Conservative committee members. The Tories then voted to approve the business case, with Labour voting against.

The decision means Barnet Homes will continue to work on the design of the scheme before submitting a planning application.