HUNDREDS of residents have said "no" to plans to build extra housing into their street.

More than 200 residents in Madeira Avenue, Shortlands, are standing firm against plans to demolish two houses and build seven four-storey town houses to house 28 people.

The application from Preston Bennett Planning was deferred by Bromley Council's planning committee on February 23 after councillors recommended the project should be scaled down.

Revised plans were submitted to the council on March 6, proposing six town houses.

Planning chiefs are expected to make a final decision on the plans next month.

But residents on the street are calling for the £1m project to be scrapped, amid fears the development will overcrowd their street. Residents say the 12m-high town house block would be out of character with the area and are concerned about the demolition work and the effect the development would have on parking.

The two properties are built on a steep hill and the developer would need to excavate the area to bring the building plot to street level.

Resident Alison Lucignano, 37, said: "This is just a cynical ploy to pack people into housing like cattle into a shed.

"We don't even have the option to appeal the outcome of the council's decision. We're all at our wits end."

Karen Summers, 42, lives next door to the proposed site with her 68-year-old mother Marion, who has multiple sclerosis.

She said: "I'm always at home looking after my mum and the garden is all we have.

"Now we are faced with the prospect of having our privacy invaded with a multistory building overlooking our garden."

The proposed development is the second application submitted by Preston Bennett Planning after its first proposal for a four-story of block of 14 flats on the site was refused by Bromley Council last September.

The firm's planning manager Andrew Rowe said: "I have been somewhat surprised by the amount of representations made.

"There appears to be a common misconception the proposed development will be higher than the existing property."

He added the "high quality scheme" would "enhance the character of Madeira Avenue and the values of the neighbouring properties".

Rebellion over homes

BROMLEY Council is rebelling against housing density targets set out in Ken Livingstone's London Plan.

At a cabinet meeting on March 6, councillors set figures of 145 habitable rooms per hectare as the maximum density for new developments in rural areas in the borough.

The London Plan sets out 150 to 200 rooms for the same space.

For suburban areas, councillors agreed a ceiling figure of 250 habitable dwellings per hectare, while the London Plan recommends up to 350.

A spokesman said the council understands the Government may "direct" it to conform to the London Plan at a "later stage".

Council leader Councillor Stephen Carr said: "We are not prepared to see local wishes being undermined by Government demands for ever more housing."