Plans to provide six new homes at a block of flats were described as a “missed opportunity” after they were rejected based on their design.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, deputy leader of Harrow Conservatives, led the case for refusal of an application in Imperial Drive, North Harrow.

Developers had hoped to build six new flats on top of an existing structure that houses 27 properties across three three-storey blocks.

However, the majority of the planning committee was unsatisfied with the scheme’s design, which was likened to a “shipping container” being dropped on the existing buildings.

Cllr Ashton said it “doesn’t look inviting” – to either those living in it or near it – and described it as “incongruous” and “most unattractive”.

She added that the scheme was a “missed opportunity” in terms of adding to the borough’s housing stock.

Cllr Anjana Patel supported her Conservative colleague and said the design would be “completely out of character” when compared with neighbouring properties.

And Labour councillor Ghazanfar Ali, deputy chairman of the planning committee, proved the difference as he too voted in favour of refusal.

He said the proposals resembled a container and urged the developers to come back with a design that “fits the surrounding area”.

This echoed Cllr Ashton’s suggestion that a design more akin to a loft extension could “actually look quite nice”.