COUNCILLORS have given the green light to controversial plans to turn a vacant shop into flats in Sidcup High Street.

Bexley Council’s planning committee approved the proposals for a change of use to build four flats in Hill View Court during a meeting on Thursday. (Jan 10)

The decision to allow one one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats to be built on the junction with High Street and Craybrooke Road has provoked a mixed response from those living nearby.

Manor House Neighbourhood Residents’ Association recommended the proposal should be turned down amid fears "the sub-standard flats will open the door to other empty High Street units being turned into flats and houses".

The building has been subject to a number of planning application over the years.In September Bexley Council granted permission to build a restaurant on the ground floor - despite strong objections from neighbours.

However, the developer returned with another application.

Sidcup Community Group reluctantly threw its weight behind the latest bid, but remains worried about the loss of more retail space from the eastern end of the High Street.

An extract of its report read: "The threat to local residents of yet another eating place is so great that we are inclined to support the application."