A housing developer insists there is a “significant need” for family homes after its building plans were criticised by neighbours.

People living in Armstrong Avenue, Highams Park, plan to start a petition against the developments proposed by housing association East Thames for former garages backing onto their homes.

They fear the new three-storey houses will prove an eyesore as they loom over the back of people’s gardens and that their privacy will be invaded by the windows overlooking their own homes, as well as the buildings causing a loss of light.

However, a spokeswoman for the social housing company said: “There is a significant need for new family homes in Waltham Forest, and the two homes we are building in Armstrong Avenue will provide high quality, affordable homes for two local families.

“The homes have been designed to blend in with the other homes in the area. They have front and back gardens and are a similar height to other homes in the street. They will be built to high quality standards and have been well designed.

“Through the design we have ensured the privacy of neighbouring residents and the pathway between homes will be gated and secure.

“We will carry out further sunlight tests to ensure neighbouring homes continue to get natural light, but we are confident the homes will enhance the area and provide quality family housing.”

Jay Singh, 31, of Armstrong Avenue, said: “The plans are horrible. It will ruin the view for everyone and will be a massive eyesore. I think they’re taking the mick.

“The whole thing’s a nightmare. They’re sacrificing our privacy to squeeze some houses in. They’re really going to loom towering over us.

“We understand the council needs more homes but East Thames is just looking to use every little space – it’s an overdevelopment here.”

Mr Singh claimed many people will object to the proposals when they appear on the council’s website.

They have been received by the authority but have not yet been validated, a process to confirm no errors have been made in the application process.