A PLANNING meeting about the controversial Cat Hill housing development had to be abandoned last night as more than 100 people were left outside the venue.

The meeting at De Bohun School in Green Road was arranged for a debate over a plan by housing association L&Q to build 272 flats and houses on the site of the former Middlesex University campus in Cat Hill.

But after around 250 people showed up to a school hall which had been set at a capacity of 150 by Enfield Council, campaigners left outside shouted “shambles” at security guards who refused to let them in.

Chair of the committee, Councillor Martin Prescott, then decided to call off the panel after a discussion with campaign leader Kim Coleman, leading to a chorus of boos from the audience inside the building, who had been forced to wait for more than half an hour.

Cllr Prescott said: “Despite the best intentions of officers in arranging this particular venue, it was clear to me that the sheer number of people not able to gain access to the panel hearing was likely to overtake the application itself in becoming the issue.

“Had we proceeded with the hearing tonight we would, in my opinion, have left the council open to accusations of collusion with the applicants, attempting to stifle public debate, and failing in our duty to act in fairness to all.”

Campaigners said the hall – which did not have disabled access despite many objectors being elderly – should never have been chosen, and the council were well aware that more than 150 people would be showing up.

Ms Coleman said: “The people who came here have a right to have their voice heard – the council should never have allowed this to happen.

“We've got them worried – do they think we are going to stand here and let them build this? Nobody wants it.”

Before the meeting was abandoned, around 60 nearby residents marched with a banner that read “No to Cat Hill Campus Proposed Development” from near the site in Chase Side to the school.