A plan to build flats on the car parks of a suburban Tube station has been resoundingly rejected in a setback for Transport for London’s (TfL) development programme.

Councillors threw out plans to build blocks up to seven storeys high at Arnos Grove Underground Station in Southgate at a meeting of Enfield’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Planning chiefs at the council had recommended the 162-home build-to-rent scheme for approval, claiming the proposals “align with relevant local, regional and national policy”.

But the committee disagreed after hearing objections from residents, councillors and an MP, who criticised the housing mix, the impact on the Grade II-listed station and the loss of 292 parking spaces.

The decision is a setback for TfL’s plans to develop Tube station car parks in suburban north London, including at Cockfosters, High Barnet and Finchley Central – all of which are larger schemes.

During the meeting, planning officer Allison De Marco said a survey showed 98.8 per cent of car park users could use alternative modes of transport, as they lived close to bus routes and other train stations or within walking and cycling distance of Arnos Grove.

But although the plans included 11 parking bays for blue badge holders – six accessible to the public and five for residents of the flats – opponents claimed they would have a negative impact on elderly people and those with mobility issues who do not own a blue badge.

Speaking at the meeting, Peter Gibbs, vice president of the Federation of Enfield Residents and Allied Associations, warned of the impact on “mums with kids and buggies, shift workers, unsocial hour workers, health workers travelling with equipment, visually impaired persons, women, pregnant mums and so on”.

“Beyond that, there are tradesmen, commuters and key service workers – not just now, but in the future as well,” he added. “It is a very large community, and they are all dismissed by this report.”

The scheme was also criticised over the affordability of the homes. Although 40 per cent were classed as affordable “by habitable room”, opponents argued most of the flats would be out of reach of the majority of Enfield residents.

Cllr Daniel Anderson (Community First, Southgate Green) said only 19 units would be at London Living Rent levels, meaning less than 12 per cent of the homes would be “genuinely affordable to local residents”.

He added: “The other 45 affordable homes will only be affordable to those on annual incomes of between £50,000 and £60,000, and there are no homes at social rent levels.”

TfL and developer Grainger defended the scheme. Rebecca Crow, associate director at Grainger, said the flats would provide an option for “Enfield’s growing population of renters”.

Ms Crow claimed 40 per cent of the homes would be “genuinely affordable”. “Affordability has been considered alongside information on local household incomes to ensure they are genuinely accessible to those on low and middle incomes, including key workers and local employees,” she added.

Lee Campbell, senior property development manager at TfL, added: “All TfL buses are accessible. TfL also offers help and support to those who most need it, through assisted travel programmes, its travelling mentoring services, door-to-door travel services, and its support for visually impaired travellers and those with hidden disabilities.”

But the plans were sharply criticised by several committee members. Cllr Maria Alexandrou (Conservative, Winchmore Hill) claimed there was a lack of larger, family-sized units, with only 14 homes containing three bedrooms and the rest either one or two-bed flats.

Labour’s Cllr Hass Yusuf (Chase) said the fact that the affordable homes were situated in one block amounted to “segregation”.

Cllr Kate Anolue (Labour, Upper Edmonton) said most Edmonton residents would be unable to afford the flats, meaning they were “not addressing the issues in our borough”.

And Cllr Derek Levy (Community First, Southgate) claimed it was the worst application he had ever had to consider.

After more than three hours of debate, 11 committee members voted against planning officers’ recommendations, with chairman Cllr Sinan Boztas abstaining. All members then voted to refuse the scheme.

The application will now be referred to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who can confirm or overturn the committee’s decision.