Plans for a new affordable housing scheme have won approval despite concerns over its impact on a nearby school.

Barnet Homes, the council’s housing arm, has been given the go-ahead to build nine flats and six terraced houses on land in Coppetts Road between Friern Barnet and Muswell Hill.

Barnet Council planning chiefs recommended the scheme for approval, stating in a report that it would provide “much-needed affordable housing and make a more efficient use of a brownfield site”.

But Bruce McGill, chairman of governors at Coppetts Wood Primary School, claimed plans for a four-storey block of flats would have an impact on the education and prospects of the 280 children who attend the school.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s strategic planning committee on June 16, he said the scheme would worsen staff retention problems by building on land that had been used as a school car park for 40 years.

He also warned the “noise, dust and vibrations” caused by construction would be “incredibly disruptive” for children with autism and other special educational needs.

Mr McGill added: “We need more social housing in Barnet, but that should not come at the expense of the education and life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in Barnet.”

Times Series: Aerial view of the development site next to Coppetts Wood Primary School. Credit: Google MapsAerial view of the development site next to Coppetts Wood Primary School. Credit: Google Maps

Meera Bedi, head of new build at council-owned company The Barnet Group, told the committee that a “robust demolition and construction logistics management plan” would reduce any impact on the school.

She added: “Barnet Council would like to partner with this school and add social value, including a programme of education on the built and natural environment.”

Under questioning from councillors, Meera said The Barnet Group would consider building an acoustic wall to lessen the impact of construction work. She added that the group had talked to the school about ways of reducing disturbance, such as carrying out the noisiest work during the holidays.

Ms Bedi said that because the scheme was designated for 100 per cent affordable housing, the development could not also provide replacement school car parking. But she added that a previous planning application had identified a playing field next to the school as being able to accommodate parking spaces and suggested the school could raise funds to develop the land.