Both Conservative and Labour politicians have welcomed a decision to reject plans for 539 homes on a site originally set for 371.

Developer Citystyle appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after its second revision to the Victoria Quarter scheme in New Barnet was blocked by Barnet Council's planning committee in February.

After an eight-day public inquiry in July, inspector John Wilde said the scheme would be out of keeping with the mainly two to three-storey buildings in the area, and voiced concerns over lack of adequate daylight” and a “deficit of play space”.

Councillors and residents, including the New Barnet Community Association, and Chipping Barnet's Conservative MP Theresa Villers, spoke at the inquiry.

East Barnet Labour councillor Simon Radford said: "I am delighted that the Fairview appeal has been rejected. This is vindication for campaigns against tower block blight and overdevelopment.

"The Save New Barnet campaign have been steadfast in pointing out the various flaws of the scheme, and I was delighted to join them, along with my colleagues Cllr Philip Cohen and Cllr Edith David, in sharing our thoughts with the Planning Inspector about the potential for flats to overheat, the poor design of the development more generally, and concerns about how affordable these flats would really be."

Ms Villiers said: “This would have been a major overdevelopment of a low-rise suburban neighbourhood. I am really pleased that the inspector has recognised this and turned down this planning application.

“He is also right to conclude that the Mayor’s London Plan does not mean that Barnet’s planning rules can be ignored.

“For the last 14 years, I have been involved in the debate on the future of the old gasworks site. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with my constituents ever since then in seeking a sensible compromise. I support the idea of building new homes at Victoria Quarter, but this latest plan was badly designed and would have damaged the local environment. These large seven storey blocks would have loomed over Victoria Recreation Ground.

Ms Villiers paid tribute to former councillors Felix Byers and Nicole Richer and added: “Planning consent was given in 2017 for a scheme to build new homes at Victoria Quarter. The developers should build out that proposal. If they had got on with it when they received their planning permission, families could be living there now.”