Plans to create a new playground, scooter path and outdoor gym trail at a park in Colindale have been approved by councillors.

The upgrades form part of a series of improvements to Rushgrove Park given the go-ahead during a meeting of Barnet Council’s strategic planning committee earlier this month.

A new wetland area will also be created in the park to reduce the risk of flooding, and two new bridges and entrances will be provided to improve access for residents.

The council, which applied to carry out the works, received 19 objections from residents. Some opponents raised concerns that the new entrances from Rushgrove Avenue and Colin Crescent would increase the risk of burglaries and other crime.

Speaking during the meeting, Ali Al-Ansari, speaking on behalf of his father Dr Raouf Al-Ansari, told councillors “many people” living next to the park had been burgled, with criminals cutting through a fence and using a wooded area to gain access to homes.

Describing the plans as “dangerous” and “negligent”, he said the new entrances would make it easier for criminals to access people’s properties. He also claimed “defensive planting” of bushes designed to reduce access for criminals would not be effective.

Responding to the concerns, councillors said stronger fences could be installed to tackle crime, and planning officer Elizabeth Sutherland-Thomas said the gates to the park would be locked overnight.

In a statement submitted to the meeting, the council said it hoped increased footfall within the park would deter antisocial behaviour, in addition to the defensive planting and overnight locking.

Labour committee member Nagus Narenthira pointed out that there were 19 objections out of 222 properties consulted and said the wetland area would help reduce the risk of homes being flooded.

Ammar Naqvi, another Labour member, said the council’s community leadership committee would monitor the usage of the park and take “appropriate measures” to address any safety issues that arose.

Following the debate, the committee approved the plans unanimously.