Barnet Council has sold off more public land in the last three years than any other London borough, figures show.

A freedom of information request by BBC London showed that the authority agreed to sell eight plots covering more than 147,000 square metres for £12.9 million since 2008.

Sites that have passed out of public ownership include land near Broadfields School, in Edgware, Northway School, in Barnet and Stanley Road playing fields, in East Finchley.

The council has defended the sell-offs, saying that large sites including Hendon Football Club and the Friern Barnet Sewage Works, which were not publically accessible anyway, will have made a large contribution to the figures.

It also pointed out that in some cases, much of the land has been retained for community use.

In a statement, a council representative said: “This is a well planned use of public assets where sales are intended to provide residents of the borough with two new school buildings, at least one community led sports facility, a recycling centre, two nature reserves, much needed new housing and a children’s hospice.”