Plans to build a 70-bed care home in Highgate have been approved despite neighbours’ fears it will block out sunlight and damage homes.

Highgate Care won permission to demolish the existing 42-bedroom former Mary Feilding Guild home in North Hill and build a new, larger facility during a meeting of Haringey Council’s planning subcommittee on Monday.

The three-to-four storey building, called The View, will provide 43 bedrooms for long-term care, including dementia and palliative care, and a 27-bedroom wellbeing and physiotherapy centre to help patients recover from surgery.

The site of the scheme is within Highgate Conservation Area. Opponents claimed the size of the new care home, which will be larger than the existing two-to-four storey building, would be out of keeping with the conservation area and harm neighbours’ privacy and sunlight levels.

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Aurell Taussig, who lives at 109 North Hill, next door to the care home, told the meeting the development would be “devastating” for his grade 2-listed Georgian property. He said it would reduce the sunlight in his garden by more than 50% and warned excavation work to create the care home’s basement could cause “serious damage” to his house and others in the terrace.

Architect David Richmond, speaking on behalf of The Highgate Society, said the proposed development “should be unthinkable in any circumstances, let alone in a conservation area where the affected property is grade 2-listed and its setting supposedly protected by the local authority”.

He added that the scheme would also overshadow “at least half” of the council houses on an estate downhill from the site and called for the size of the scheme to be reduced.

David Sheinman, another neighbour, said the scheme would cause an “unacceptable loss of privacy”. Cllr Scott Emery, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Highgate, said the development appeared “rushed” and that residents had been left feeling “ignored and mistreated”.

Applicant Mitesh Dhanak, founder and director of Highgate Care, rejected claims there would be an unacceptable impact on neighbours and said the scheme was supported by council officers and Historic England.

Planning consultant Neeraj Dixit said the team had put forward a “high quality” scheme that “responds carefully to the conservation area”, with a “modest and appropriate height” designed to reduce the impact on neighbours. He said “ongoing assessments” would be undertaken to ensure the basement works were safe.

Council officers also defended the proposals. Rob Krzyszowski, the council’s assistant director of planning, building standards and sustainability, said a construction management plan would address some of the concerns relating to the basement excavation. He added that the development would require building control approvals, and there was no objection from building control colleagues “at this stage”.

Liberal Democrat committee member Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison asked for clarity over the impact on neighbours’ sunlight levels.

Richard Truscott, urban design officer at Haringey Council, said there would be an increase in shadowing of the garden of 109 North Hill but the property would not lose “any noticeable amount” of sunlight or daylight to its rooms. He also claimed it would not lose “any significant amount of privacy” because the windows overlooking the property would be made of obscure glass.

Responding to the heritage concerns, Richard said the “intelligent design” of the care home responded to the Georgian and Arts and Crafts architecture of the surrounding buildings.

After the debate, eight members of the committee voted to approve the application, with none voting against and Labour’s Nicola Bartlett abstaining.