Neighbours living near a planned care home called it “just too big” as a decision was shelved after a flood of objections.

Barnet Council was set to decide on plans for the three-storey, 62-bedroom care home at 84 West Heath Road on Thursday, but a planning meeting vote was postponed at the last minute.

No explanation was given, although an addendum to last week’s meeting stated that a further 41 letters of objection were submitted following publication of the planning committee’s agenda.

The plans removed from the agenda were the latest - and smallest - in a series to have come before councillors.

The development, to be operated by KYN luxury care homes, has proved controversial locally, with many fearful over the scale of previous plans.

A previous application to demolish the former care home and school on the site to make way for a five-storey, 80 bedroom care home was rejected in March.

The committee decided that development was “excessive” in size and height, and visually detrimental to the character of the surrounding area.

Under new plans, the development would be smaller, standing three storeys high and containing 62 bedrooms.

But objectors fear it is still “just too big”, pointing to the fact that the new building’s floorspace would be 240% larger than the existing building.

Many residents submitted near-identical letters of objection to the plans last week, highlighting five key concerns.

These objections state that reducing the size of the care home by two floors would still leave locals with “a vast monolithic building…at odds with the surrounding townscape”.

They also brand the development an “ecological disaster”, with many residents fearing that the building’s large basement could increase the chances of flooding in the area.

A flood risk assessment submitted to Barnet Council in May concluded that “the site can be considered to have a low probability of suffering from any form of flooding”.

Increased traffic was also raised as a possibility, as the site will only have room for nine on-site car parking spaces.

The transport statement submitted with the application found that “the development proposals will have no material impact on the local transport network”.

Local people claimed that they had “lingering doubts” as to whether the development would genuinely serve as a care home.

A previous scheme planned to build an apartment building on the site.

Residents have questioned the lack of affordable care rooms in the development as well as whether changing the proposals to a care home was done “simply to avoid” Community Infrastructure Levy contributions.

They also queried the application's arboricultural impact assessment, claiming that “legitimate concerns raised about the impact [of the development] on mature trees” had not been addressed.

A spokesperson for KYN said: “Hampstead is in need of care homes so it goes without saying that we’d love to bring KYN’s truly personalised model of care to the area.

“We understand that further discussions on a revised scheme will be had and we remain interested.”