Families using a respite care facility to look after their disabled relatives are concerned for its future.

32 families using Green Lodge’s services in Woodford Green are concerned access to the unit could become severely restricted if a new planning application goes ahead.

The planning application, submitted by London and City Properties last month, would see a two and a half storey building put up to provide nine new residential flats next door to the care unit.

But the council insists there is no threat to the centre or the future of its care provision.

Chris Roper’s 41-year-old son Paul has Sturge Weber Syndrome, which causes epilepsy and severe learning disability, uses the respite care services at Green Lodge.

The 71-year-old and his wife Eve, who live in Chadwell Heath, are concerned by the proposals.

Mr Roper said: “Green Lodge is the only such service in this borough and much further afield. This planning application indicates a serious threat to the continuation of the service provided.

“The plans, as submitted, will remove the existing access, both vehicular and pedestrian, to Green Lodge. Parking will be minimal to non-existent. The proposed building will overshadow many of the bedrooms at Green Lodge. The rear fire escape muster area will be cut off as will the present situation of waste and recycling bins.

“This has the potential to dramatically affect at least 32 families caring for a disabled son or daughter; some with two.”

Those using the services at Green Lodge or other interested parties have until July 12 to register their objections to the proposals via the council’s website.

The council, however, said the centre is safe as the proposal is for a neighbouring property.

A council spokesperson said: “There is no threat to the service at Green Lodge. It continues to provide much needed care to Redbridge residents, and there are no plans to change this.

“The proposal for the neighbouring, vacant property will be carefully considered and we would strongly advise those consulted to raise their concerns through the rigorous planning process.”

To register comment on the application click here.