Neighbours have spoken out over proposals to bulldoze a “beautiful” cottage in place of townhouses in Bromley.

Developers plan to demolish the building known as Trees in Coniston Road and redevelop it into five terraced houses.

The detached cottage, according to the planning application, is of “no architectural merit” – although neighbours disagree.

Marcus Oliver, who lives opposite the cottage, said: “Basically, it’s a unique sort of site, unique location, it’s on the corner of two unadopted roads. It’s got a very unusual rural atmosphere. It suits it perfectly. It looks like a little cottage in the woods, which is very pretty.

“The developer is trying to say it’s an anomaly, architecturally of no note at all, but that’s not true. It’s beautifully designed.”

Mr Oliver claims the cottage was designed by renowned architect Hubert Lidbetter.

He went on: “For anyone to say it’s of no note is outrageous. It’s special, though fairly modest, it’s too nice to knock down.

“It’s a beautiful little garden, it has been rented out for the last decade. It could be transformed with love and attention – it could be expanded, and you could make it look a lovely house.”

More than 20 objections have been made to the scheme, which is currently being considered by planning officers at Bromley Council.

The developers, Richton Properties, have included 10 carparking spaces in their development, along with three three-bed and two four-bedroom houses.

They said in their planning statement: “The existing building on-site is of no particular architectural merit and is something of an anomaly in the street scene given the prevailing local characteristics.

“The proposed development would accord with the general scale of nearby buildings, making a more efficient use of the site.

“Overall, the development will provide much needed residential accommodation within an existing residential area.”

Despite neighbours concerns about a lack of privacy, the developers said there is “significant” separation between properties.

The site is covered by an historic tree preservation order, which was made by the council in the 60s.

The developers want to remove 10 trees, claiming none of the trees are old enough to be covered by the council’s protection order.

One neighbour,  Sheila Murray, said however: “Our objections are in connection with the house to be demolished and the site of the proposed development. The house can boast an honourable history.

“The house stands on grounds which with their rural aspect and abundance of vegetation attract wildlife, including bats and owls.

“Destroying this rural environment would be detrimental to the fauna which inhabit it and to people who would see the pleasure of a countrified ambience being replaced by cement, cars and traffic.

“The character of the whole complex would thereby be destroyed and people’s enjoyment of this site, which has remained charmingly unchanged, would be spoiled.”

Other concerns have been raised about pollution, traffic and infrastructure.

The application is currently being considered by officers at the council.