A GROUP of residents living in an "idyllic" Bexleyheath street are angry a councillor neighbour plans to build a house at the end of her back garden.

Labour councillor Margaret O'Neill, who represents Erith and is on Bexley Council's planning committee, has submitted an application to build the two-storey house which will front Palmar Road.

Neighbours in Garden Avenue reacted in horror when they received a letter on January 3 informing them of the plans.

Former prison officer Tony Evan, who has lived in the road for eight years, has started a petition against the idea.

The 52-year-old said: "I was shocked and quite angry when we got the letter.

"There was no warning of this until the letter came through the door.

"We haven't been given much time to react but we have all put comments into the council and we got 34 signatures on the petition on the first day.

"If this house is built it will overlook my garden and ruin the view from my house. I will also lose sunlight and be blocked in.

"This is an idyllic spot."

Eddie Hambly, 60, who has lived in the road for three years, added: "I am a lover of wildlife and this is going to cripple that.

"They are going to have to chop down at least three mature holly trees that are filled with birds."

Mrs O'Neill was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

A spokesman for Bexley Council added: "Being fair and being seen to be fair is at the heart of the planning system.

“Cllr Margaret O’Neill’s planning application will be processed in the same way as other applications but, because she is a Councillor, her application will have to be considered at a meeting of the Planning Committee.

“The committee will make its decision on the basis of the information put to the meeting and the issues will discussed and the decision made in public.

“If she is present at the meeting, Cllr Margaret O’Neill will need to declare an interest in the application and leave the meeting while it is discussed."