A developer won permission to build 24 new homes on the site of two detached houses despite concerns over affordable housing.

Abbeytown Ltd was given the green light to build flats up to four storeys high at 26 to 28 Brownlow Road, Bounds Green, during a meeting of Haringey’s planning sub-committee on Monday.

The development, on a site where a previous application was denied, will provide 23 flats, with a detached house behind them.

Lack of affordable housing was one of the key concerns of the 50 people who wrote to the council to object – including Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West.

Rob Steward, from residents’ group Friends of Brownlow Road, raised the issue during the meeting.

“We must seize opportunities to create affordable housing,” he said. “We should, ultimately, choose proposals that deliver fairness, ecology and character – ones that unite the existing residents and that prepare Brownlow Road and Bounds Green to tackle the problems of the future.”

Council planning officers said the scheme could support a maximum of two affordable homes on site or a contribution from the developer of £384,903 towards affordable housing at a different site.

Their report said the council would not want to acquire a small number of affordable units due to “practicalities of design and management issues”. Other affordable housing providers would be unlikely to take on the homes for the same reasons, the report added.

Peter Exton, senior project manager at Haringey Council, said having two affordable homes in the same part of the building as private housing would push up service charges, making it more difficult to manage them.

“For the £384,000, we can get two large family homes out of our own programme,” he added. “We have six sites in this locality and 76 sites altogether.

“This off-site provision could allow us to deliver larger family homes on council land at council rents.”

A Government planning inspector refused a previous application for the site due to its effect on neighbours and the character and appearance of the area.

Council officers said the new plans addressed the reasons for refusal, pointing out the height of the flats had been reduced and other improvements had been made to the designs.

The council’s failure to meet a key housing target, meaning it must apply a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” was flagged up in the planning report.

According to Government guidance, this means proposals that accord with an up-to-date development plan should be approved “without delay”.

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Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Simon Wallis, director at Savills, told councillors the scheme “complies fully with planning policy” and would “protect the character and amenity of neighbours”.

He said: “In our view, this proposal is sustainable development that will deliver 24 high-quality homes, helping to boost the supply of housing in a new, well-designed building that will complement the street scene.”

After the debate, the plans were unanimously approved by members of the committee.