A new headquarters for a multinational technology firm will be built on a town centre car park.

Metaswitch will be allowed to relocate to an office building on the site of Genotin Road car park in Enfield after councillors waved through the plans at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday, November 20).

The council’s planning committee had previously turned down proposals for the development after members warned it could breach several key planning policies.

But plans for a five-storey office building have now been approved after they were amended to address councillors’ concerns.

The decision paves the way for a possible expansion of the Enfield-based firm, which currently employs 360 people.

Derek Brooker, company accountant at Metaswitch, told the meeting the firm was “passionate about Enfield”.

He said: “We want to stay here for a long time to come and see Enfield succeed.

“Our search for a new headquarters started two years ago. We identified Genotin Road as a great location and we feel it is mutually beneficial for the council and us as well.

“It will be a high-quality building that represents us for who we are – a leading tech company with high ambitions.”

Mr Brooker said Metaswitch could grow its workforce to 500 people but had to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook to find suitable workers.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, cabinet member for property and assets, attended the meeting to drum up support for the plans.

He said it would help to transform the town centre from just a shopping area, boost footfall for other businesses and attract other employers to Enfield.

At a planning committee meeting in September, councillors claimed the proposed development was at odds with the goals of the Enfield Town masterplan because it was not a mixed-use scheme.

The plans were subsequently changed to include a café and conference rooms in a bid to address this concern.

Further revisions to the proposals were made to boost the safety of the site and ensure the drainage systems complied with the required standards for large developments.

Planning officers confirmed the 96 car parking spaces would be available to the public on weekends and weekday evenings.

The current car park has space for 122 vehicles.

Under the plans, the council will lease the offices to Metaswitch – a move that could raise more than £10 million in income over a 42-year period.

But Cllr Mike Rye, Conservative member for Town ward, warned the building could become a “white elephant” once Metaswitch’s 15-year minimum lease expires.

He added: “In terms of the design of the building, it is a matter of personal interpretation.

“Modern architecture rarely weathers well. I consider it a fairly ugly building.”

Cllr George Savva, Labour member for Haselbury, said: “This application has everything I have been talking about for many years – employment, regeneration, bringing back some life into Enfield.

“As we sit here today, the high street is dying.

“We have got to bring people back to the town centre.”

The plans were approved after seven councillors voted in favour, with one voting against and four abstaining.