Controversial plans for nearly 50 affordable homes on former allotments in Slade Green look set to be approved.

The proposals, put forward by Urban and Rural alongside Orbit housing association, are for 48 apartments on open land close to Howbury Lane.

More than 200 people have signed a petition against the new houses, claiming it will cause traffic and parking problems.

However council officers have now thrown their weight behind the scheme, recommending councillors approve the plans at a committee meeting next week.

Slade Green is an area earmarked by Bexley Council for major growth in coming years as the authority envisages up to 31,000 homes in the borough by 2050.

The land has not been used as allotments since 2012, according to documents, with the council planning to sell the land for houses.

Orbit’s scheme is made up of 100 per cent “affordable” units spread over five new apartment blocks.

The housing association has put forward an “outline planning application” asking the council for approval in principle.

In a new report, officers said: ” Neighbours have expressed concern regarding the construction of the development and how this might disrupt neighbours.

“Concerns of this nature would be dealt with by Environmental Health, rather than planning.

“However, the site is not considered to be inaccessible and whilst with development of any kind can be disruptive, it would not form a reason to refuse planning permission in this circumstance.

“The submitted plans indicate that an appropriate scheme would be capable of being implemented, subject to consideration of the reserved matters.”

In its planning statement, the developer said earlier this year: “This development, if approved, will provide much needed, modern fit-for-purpose accommodation for 48 new households.

“If approved by the London Borough of Bexley, would see an un-used bit of scrubland sold off by the London Borough of Bexley turned into a right and just expansion of the community of Howbury Lane.”

The final designs of buildings are yet to be agreed but the scheme, if approved, will provide 47 car parking spaces.