Widespread community opposition has not stopped town hall planners from recommending the approval of a controversial application to build flats.

A total of 61 objections were registered against the plans for the demolition of a two-storey detached house and the construction of a new two-storey building, housing five apartments in Theydon Park Road, Theydon Bois.

Neighbours say the plans are “in stark contrast to the character of the area” and some believe the new flats will block sunlight and overlook their own homes.

There are also concerns that parking spaces provided will be insufficient for the two-bedroom flats.

Despite objections, the plans submitted by Sarah Turner have been recommended for approval ahead of a planning committee meeting of Epping Forest District Council this evening.

Only 18 neighbouring properties were consulted about the application, but it has attracted widespread objection and opposition from the Theydon Bois Action Group and the Theydon Bois Parish Council.

The council’s objection states: “The parish council feels that this proposed development is completely out of character and keeping to the street scene, and a completely inappropriate overdevelopment of the site.

“The proposed building is vast compared to the one already in existence and will have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring properties.”

Despite the level of objection, council officers have described the application as “a very balanced recommendation”.

The report says: “Its subtle design and unassuming appearance in the street scene means it will cause minimal harm in the context of the street scene.

"There has been concern raised by numerous neighbours that the approval of planning permission may lead to an unwanted precedent into the locality.

"However, each site is treated on its own planning merits.”

It adds that although there will be a “visual impact” on one neighbour, the size of the plot means the main development is away from neighbouring properties.

The planning committee meeting is open to the public and will be held from 8.30pm at the Civic Offices in Epping High Street.