The man behind a controversial development labelled clichéd and lacking quality has defended his plans, claiming his shopping arcade plan will boost the area.

Bali Singh-Digpaul said he is convinced the planning committee will approve a proposal for a four-storey shopping arcade and neighbouring flats in the High Street, Wanstead, conservation area.

But Redbridge Planning Department has already said the application should be turned down, with officer Mike Brown claiming the proposal has “no sense of place or discernible character.”

“This is a poor development in height, scale, bulk, shape and materials and would harm the special architectural or historic special interest of the Wanstead Village Conservation Area,” he added.

The Wanstead Society community group have also slammed the plan, saying it shows no understanding of the area’s history.

But Mr Singh-Digpaul, who owns High Street sushi bar Sumo Fresh, insists critics have overlooked the proposal’s merits and has vowed to win people round.

He said: “When the Wanstead Society and other residents are ready, I will sit outside the site, lay all the plans out, talk to residents about their ideas and discuss it with them.

“I have lived and worked in Wanstead for over ten years – I love the area and already own several properties around here.

“I know for a fact anyone objecting to the plans have not read them properly.

“If they had they would see that what I have proposed will benefit the community and put energy into it.

“You look at areas like Shoreditch, Hoxton and Bethnal Green which are diverse and full of life whether it is day or night – these places are great to live and work in.

“I’m talking about bringing in local businesses, not driving out current ones. I’m talking to a fishmonger, an artisan bakery and various businesses to take over affordable spaces.”

Mr Singh-Digpaul said he has based the controversial design on an art deco-style block of flats behind the site called The Shrubbery in Grosvenor Road.

“I have no doubt that the planning committee will approve the plans, I cannot see why they would not,” he added.

A date is yet to be set for a decision on the proposal.