Controversial plans to convert a Coulsdon bungalow into a block of flats have been approved despite almost 300 objections from residents.

Croydon Council's planning committee gave the green light to the development on Friday, which will see a single family home on Marlpit Lane demolished and replaced with a three-storey building containing nine apartments.

Neighbours, who say the development is out of keeping with the scale of other properties, have taken to the online planning application to vent their frustrations, lodging 272 objections.

Paul Harper, 59, who lives next door to the bungalow, said: "There needs to be a balance between finding appropriate sites for housing and the concerns of immediate neighbours and the incursion into their amenities - privacy, light security and noise levels.

"The Council are ignoring the latter point.

"The height of the proposed building will completely overshadow and dwarf neighbouring properties by the extra height going up a steep hill.

"We already look up to the bungalow - multiple windows will overlook us and neighbouring properties.

"The property is far too high and out of scale with all neighbouring properties, including those facing and those behind Marlpit Lane."

A document going to the planning committee stated the design of the three-storey building would be in keeping with the surrounding residential area.

As it will be made up of nine flats it means there is no requirement to provide any affordable housing.

The decision will fuel already existing complaints that the Council is too willing to grant permission for developments in the south of the borough.

A petition calling on the council to “stop destroying family homes” and introduce Area Planning Committees for developments of less than 50 units was debated at full council on Monday night.

Councillors rejected calls for Croydon to adopt a brownfield first policy, which would mean family homes could not be built on until all previously developed sites had been used.

According to Paul Scott, cabinet member for planning and regeneration, this would have a drastic effect on the suburbs, since that is where the majority of Brownfield sites are found.

Frances Bovington, who also lives on the lane, said: “For some time, Croydon’s Labour-run council has been granting planning permissions indiscriminately.

“More than 90% of all applications are getting approved by the planning committee which are routinely allowing family housing to be destroyed and replaced with small blocks of flats whereas the neighbouring boroughs of Bromley and Sutton do not allow this.

“We do need more homes, but blocks of flats should go on brownfield sites and in Croydon town centre.

“The council would then have no reason to destroy houses in suburban and village areas, which changes the character of the area and removes much-needed homes for families.”