A councillor warned committee members were being “bullied” into approving a wetland project they had rejected six weeks earlier as they were asked to reconsider their decision.

Enfield Council’s planning committee threw out plans for a wetland area at Broomfield Park in September, amid concerns over the impact on the heritage of the site – which is home to Grade II-listed Broomfield House – and high upkeep costs.

But on Tuesday (November 6), committee members were asked to change their minds after planning officers claimed they had amended the scheme to address most of the concerns they had raised.

The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Daniel Anderson, attended the committee in a bid to drum up support for the project.

He said the wetland would help to protect around 300 homes at risk of flooding and asked for the committee’s backing so it could be implemented in the current financial year.

But Councillor Mike Rye, Conservative member for Town ward, said it was a “great concern” that the application had come back to the committee so quickly and warned the council could be “in danger of an abuse of process”.

He said: “We determined the application based on the evidence that was before us, and there were sound reasons for the decision the committee made.

“Members have been dragged back and bullied by the deputy cabinet member and others to try and change our minds.”

The changes made to the scheme included a more gradual bund at the edge of the wetland to minimise its visual impact.

Cllr Rye claimed the plans represented a new application and should therefore have been put to a statutory consultation before coming to the committee.

But planning decisions manager Kevin Tohill rejected the claim and insisted it was an amended application.

Councillor Chris Bond, Labour member for Southbury, suggested the report had been “rushed”.

He said: “(The report) wants to get through, for whatever reason – it could be the money is running out, it could be the timescale – but the experts are still telling us there are problems with it.”

Historic England had raised concerns about the scheme’s impact, while the London Park and Garden Trust, the council’s conservation officer and the conservation advisory group all submitted objections.

Cllr Bond added: “We keep referring to conditions we want to apply, but they are not in this paperwork.

“We have still not finished negotiations with the outside bodies.”

He said conditions may have been applied but councillors had not had the chance to give their views on the conditions.

Planning officers admitted that some objections still stood but said the committee needed to weigh those up against the benefits the wetland would bring to the area.

They said delegates from Historic England had been reassured about the scheme’s impact when they recently visited the site.

Cllr Gina Needs, Labour member for Turkey Street, asked why councillors had not been invited on the site visit along with planning officers.

Andy Higham, head of development management, said he and Mr Tohill had “gatecrashed” a technical meeting between the applicant – council engineer Graham Campbell – and Historic England.

Other councillors spoke out in support of the scheme.

Cllr George Savva, Labour member for Haselbury, said: “I am in full support and am surprised (the scheme) was turned down.

“We need education; we need open space for the benefit of children and for the future of wildlife in danger of extinction.”

Cllr Elif Erbil, Labour member for Enfield Lock, said the plans would enhance biodiversity and provide “good quality usage for schools”.

The wetland scheme was approved after four councillors voted in favour, with three voting against and one abstention.