THE Environment Agency has objected to plans to develop the derelict Prince Edward Playing Fields.

The leading public body for protecting the environment urged the council to reject Barnet FC's £4million development plans because "flood risk concerns have not been considered as part of this development and a flood risk assessment has not been provided".

And a letter from the Environment Agency, dated March 8, states that: "We have no choice but to object based on the information provided. Nor would it be possible to condition this application".

But Harrow Council's strategic development committee, chaired by Cllr Marilyn Ashton, gave the plans the green light at Thursday night's meeting, subject to the Environment Agency withdrawing its objections.

Cllr Ashton explained that she was excited about the new plans for playing fields and said: "There is nothing wrong with making this decision, Labour are jealous that we are presiding over this and they are sniping from the sidelines and want to kick everything into the long grass.

"We have had years under Labour of dilly-dallying and deferral and Harrow achieved nothing. We believe that when a flood impact assessment is done it will provide enough information to satisfy their concerns."

Cllr Ashton explained that the build will only go ahead once the Environment Agency's concerns were withdrawn. She said: "This a completely reasonable solution."

But Labour Cllr Keith Ferry said: "I wanted to defer it so that we could get the Environment Agency's concerns out of the way first and then grant the permission because the Environment Agency are objecting and we have granted it anyway and now we have to go back to them and remove their concerns and they are the only ones standing in the way of the development going ahead."

Cllr Ferry also explained that the traffic situation and Section 106 agreement needed to be clarified further.