CONTROVERSIAL plans for a major redevelopment in New Barnet have been slated by the Government's advisory body on architecture and public space.

Supermarket giants Tesco and Asda have published rival proposals to build a mixture of shops and homes in New Barnet.

Both proposals have invoked the anger of residents and sparked a well-supported community campaign.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has now branded Asda's plan as "fundamentally flawed".

Asda’s plans, submitted to Barnet Council in February, would involve demolishing existing buildings on the gasworks site to the north of East Barnet Road to make way for a supermarket, 211 residential units, shops, restaurants, car parking and community space.

The company also intends to make “environmental improvements” to Albert Road and create a pedestrian area at the entrance of Victoria Recreation Ground.

CABE's review of the plan, published last week, argues that a robust case for a supermarket-led redevelopment has not been made and that it would threaten the long-term survival of high street shops.

It also states that it will have "the look and feel of a car-based scheme" that will create a "hostile environment for pedestrians".

David Howard, of the New Barnet Community Association, said: "It's what we've been saying all along so we obviously don't disagree with CABE at all.

"We also agree that it would be an attack on the town centre and turn business away, from Sainsbury's but also from further afield."

The CABE review also urges Barnet Council to develop an "economic and masterplanning vision" for New Barnet town centre to give developers a clearer idea of what is needed.

New Barnet Community Association have been pressing for a town centre strategy since 1991 and again welcomed the comments.

Mr Howard said: "Time after time after time we've been promised it, next month, next week, by the next meeting. It's always imminent but never arrives."

A Barnet Council spokesman said consultants have been appointed to address the issue and aim to have draft proposals ready by September.

CABE reviews schemes in England that will have a significant impact on an area, with built environment experts examining the merits of plans.

The review will be sent to the council for consideration during the planning process, but it is advisory and not binding on the authority.

An Asda spokesman said representatives of the supermarket will be meeting with CABE next week to discuss the plan with them.