A decision on whether to develop one of Erith’s “key green spaces” is set to be made by Bexley councillors later this week.

The proposal by Bexley Council’s own development company would see 30 residential units built at the junction of Macarthur Close and West Street on an area labelled West Street Park.

While the plans would add “high quality housing” at a a site described as “under-used” by council, community opposition swelled last year as residents objected to the development of green space.

The proposal prompted the formation of community group the Erith Think Tank, who launched a campaign opposing the project.

“This would mean the loss of key green space in Erith. Aside from the Riverside Gardens there is very little open green space in Erith for communities to enjoy,” the group said in a statement when the plans were published last year.

The group also backed an online petition titled Save West Stray Park, which has received more than 400 signatures.

While the group’s main concern surrounds the loss of green space, the absence of affordable housing in the scheme has also been mentioned amid 38 objections registered lodged with the council.

Development consisting of more than 10 housing units require at least 35 per cent affordable housing, according to local government policy.

However, a viability statement lodged with Bexley Council stated the project wouldn’t be viable if units were’t leased or sold at market price due to the predicted construction costs – estimated to be more than £6m.

“This is…associated with providing a high quality residential development on a constrained site,” the plans state.

BexleyCo would instead offer £100,000 to help with the building of new affordable housing elsewhere in the borough.

“Whilst no on-site affordable housing is to be provided, this has been robustly justified and independently assessed, and a payment in lieu of affordable housing is to be secured,” the council’s report states.

Bexley council officers have backed the development for approval.

The authority’s planning committee is set to discuss the application at their meeting on Thursday.