A South London temple has attracted so many visitors that neighbours claim parking has become “absolute bedlam” with residents afraid to use their car for fear they will never get a space again.

Thoes living nearby said the parking situation has become worse since a conservatory extension was added to its community centre in Plumstead.

The place of worship, which has been used by members of the Nepalese community in the area since it was bought in 2011, did not apply for planning permission and is asking Greenwich Council for retrospective approval.

The plans have received 11 objections online from locals, largely regarding the increased visitors and traffic in the area as a result.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the temple initially had an agreement with locals that no visitors would park on the site or the nearby Swingate Lane.

However, they said gatherings at the temple since the extension was built have been “constant and extremely excessive”, to the point where traffic in the area is “absolute bedlam”.

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They added: “People have to park their cars several streets away, which is an extreme inconvenience.

"We’ve got people blocked out, unable to get to work because of cars parked over their driveways.

"My current car got smashed because someone reversed out of there in a hurry and took a lump out of my car.”

Council documents said the applicant had sent a traffic management plan and offered to increase the number of parking spaces on the site, to respond to the concerns of residents.

Council officers said in their report: “It is noted that the development should not lead to any intensification of use at the site and as a result would not lead to increase comings and goings or capacity of the site.”

Another anonymous resident said she had seen a huge increase in the number of people using the space for functions, to the point where she has to keep her windows shut to block out the smell of car fumes.

They said: “It’s quite hard for me to digest the sheer lack of respect for the residents because I have a child with special needs too.

"On a number of occasions I’ve had to park in the next road and walk with my children a good five minutes before reaching my door.

“This has changed my attitude and given me great anxiety about doing the normal day to day things, like a big food shop, because I’m unsure that if I leave my road, I won’t get parked near my house again for a while… This was never a problem a few years ago.”

A previous application to build a one and two storey extension to the building was refused in 2021, with council officers saying the plans would significantly increase the number of people who could enter the building.

They said it would cause an “unacceptable impact” on local parking stress.

Dashu Pandey, chair of the temple, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We are the largest community in the borough and we don’t have any other place to worship.

"Not only for worship, we are also a community centre. We have a lot of Gurkha who do not understand English.

“They have a big community around and we try to communicate and teach them how to behave, cross the road and use the parks.

"We socialise with them and provide them with tea, coffee and biscuits during the worship.

“We go door to door to many local people and they don’t have any problem. But there are a couple of people who are very negative, I don’t understand why.

"They didn’t want us there from the beginning. We want to do something for our community, we want to work with the local people and the council.”

Greenwich Council was approached for a statement, but declined to comment due to the application still being live on its planning portal.

The application to approve the extensions to the temple in Plumstead will be decided at a planning meeting for Greenwich Council on February 14.