Plans for a new block of flats along a busy Harrow road have been approved at the third attempt, despite concerns over loss of green space.

Harrow Council’s planning committee voted to grant permission for eight new flats in a two-storey block at Northcote, in Rickmansworth Road, Pinner.

They will be added to the 24 homes currently at the site after being given the green light at the third attempt following planning refusals in 2016 and 2017.

The applicant pointed out that there is a “huge need” for more housing in Harrow and said these flats would help address this.

But some of those living close to Northcote expressed “serious concerns” about the extra development, citing environmental and safety issues.

This included access issues, a loss of green space and the proximity of the new bins to current properties that could cause problems with “smells and vermin”.

They were backed up by Cllr Norman Stevenson, who represents Pinner ward, and the three Conservative councillors on the committee who voted against the plans.

Cllr Stephen Greek suggested that the latest proposals were very similar to the previously-refused applications and argued that putting in double-yellow lines to improve access to and increase safety at the site “isn’t going to cut it”.

He remained worried that cars coming in and out of the site will have to back out onto the “busy” and “dangerous” Rickmansworth Road.

Cllr Stevenson, who said discussions around Northcote are “like Groundhog Day”, was disappointed that greater focus was not given to the loss of garden land.

“In a week when we heard David Attenborough talking about the environment at Davos, we have to be very careful when reducing the amount of outdoor space we have,” he said.

There were 44 objections to the proposals, and Cllr Stevenson urged the committee to “be democratic” and take these into account.

Prior to the meeting, a group of neighbours had expressed their “frustration” at having to fight the plans.

Objector Majd Kilani said: “We don’t have the time and resources to keep battling these development attempts, which have caused significant stress.

“It has taken away time and energy that would otherwise be dedicated to our families and the community.”

The application was put through by four votes to three after the committee’s Labour councillors deemed it acceptable, in line with the planning officers’ recommendation.