Proposals put forward by Enfield Council to build on Green Belt land could be torpedoed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Speaking at mayor’s question time, the mayor signalled he could oppose the council’s new local plan if it contravenes London-wide planning policy.

Enfield Council mooted plans for “managed development on a small segment of the Green Belt” in October, in a bid to meet ambitious new housebuilding targets.

Land near Crews Hill railway station was one potential site earmarked for development in the authority’s local plan, which will go out to consultation this month.

But under questioning from Conservative London Assembly Member Andrew Boff on November 22, Mr Khan hinted he might object to the plans.

The mayor outlined the key environmental and public health benefits of the Green Belt, adding that it “will be given the strongest possible protection from inappropriate development” as set out in the new draft London Plan.

Mr Boff said: “Will you formally object, therefore, to Enfield Council’s local plan consultation, which includes the aim of releasing Green Belt for development?”

Mr Khan responded: “If it is the case that their local plan is in breach of our policies, then I will do what I normally do, which is to object to it.”

The council has pledged to prioritise brownfield sites such as the £6 billion Meridian Water project, but wants to look at Green Belt sites as a way of tacking the borough’s “housing crisis”.

It is under pressure to build 1,900 homes a year during the next decade – almost four times the current rate of development.

Mr Khan said he would look into the possibility of freeing up more industrial land for development in response to concerns this is holding back housebuilding in Enfield.

The council’s Conservative group has repeatedly criticised the Labour-run administration for failing to meet housebuilding targets on brownfield sites such as Meridian Water.

Responding to the mayor’s comments, Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban said: “I am pleased that at London level there is cross-party support for saving the Green Belt.

“However, I only wish that Enfield’s Labour Council would listen. Just because the council has been dire at building new homes on brownfield over the past eight years does not mean they should take the easy route out and try for Green Belt release.

“The council seriously needs to think again because currently you can’t trust Labour Council with the Green Belt.”

Enfield Council declined to comment further on the Green Belt proposals.

Cabinet member for property and assets Cllr Ahmet Oykener previously stated: “We will always prefer to meet Enfield’s housing needs by building on brownfield and town centre sites, but our local plan also needs to consider other options.

“Our local plan options include looking at a tiny section – approximately five to seven per cent – of Green Belt land and considering whether it may be suitable for quality and affordable homes for families.

“All options are currently on the table at this early stage of the local plan. We will consider all the responses to the consultation before we work up and develop our preferred options.”