It was the perfect plan: an ‘invisible house' built on Green Belt land in Mill Hill and designed by the architect behind the London Eye.

But plans for a multi-million-pound property at the exclusive former Rosebank Farm, in The Ridgeway, fell at the first hurdle last week when they were refused by Barnet Council.

Property developer Keith Zerdin, owner of Rosebank Barn — one of two properties on the site — came up with the idea for the home along with his friend David Marks, who designed the £35 million London Eye.

To keep his neighbours on side, Mr Zerdin offered to open up views of the Totteridge Valley by employing architects from the Royal Parks to oversee the landscaping 11 acres of nearby Green Belt — planting hundreds of trees and creating a lake for wildfowl. Children at St Paul's School next door would have benefited from a playground and nature conservation area, paid for by Mr Zerdin.

"What was designed was a home that was almost invisible from The Ridgeway — you wouldn't even know the house was there," said Mr Zerdin.

"It was set down into the bank, underground, and the roof of the property was landscaped.

“The idea was that we opened up the wonderful views across the valley so everybody could benefit."

Mr Zerdin, who has worked with Mr Marks on numerous projects, said: "The architecture, as you would imagine with David, was of the highest calibre.

“Who wouldn't be impressed with his work on the London Eye?

“It is an amazing structure and it has added to the quality of life in London."

Despite the profile of the project, John Turtle, chairman of the Mill Hill Preservation Society, said the building would damage the conservation area.

“The rules say, ‘no building in the Green Belt except for limited cases'. This is not within the permitted category.” he said.

“Therefore, although it is a fine example of modern architecture, it should not be built on Green Belt land."

Mr Zerdin plans to appeal the decision.