Neighbours fear they will lose their privacy after 135 “overbearing” new homes were approved next to a street of Victorian terraces.

Watford Borough Councils development management committee gave planning permission on Wednesday for two apartment buildings to be built on a rundown brownfield site in Sydney Road, west Watford.

Sydney Road Developments plans to construct building that will be between seven to 10 storeys high.

The aim of the development is to regenerate an “unattractive” piece of land where there are currently single storey industrials buildings on a brownfield site.

Up to 38 of the new homes will be affordable.

Ms Farooq, who lives in Sydney Road, objected to the plans during the meeting as she was concerned by the “visual impact” the development will have on the people who already live there.

She said: “The design of the flats show bedrooms and living rooms look into existing houses, meaning a loss of privacy for us.

“Due to this light will be lost in living rooms and it will be overbearing, out of character and out of context.

“Where will the children play – in one of the seven storey terraces? There needs to be a redesign to address privacy and light loss issues and children’s playground should be added.”

Douglas Bond, who was speaking in favour of the plans, said the development will “bring new life” to both the site and the area generally.

The meeting also heard that there is nothing on the site at the moment so any development will create a change.

Planning committee member Cllr Nigel Bell said: “If this gets the go-ahead, the quality of life for people living between numbers 3 and 27 will be changed completely forever.

“I accept the socially rented units will be welcome but I wish they had looked at the design as it is not good enough.”

Cllr Karen Collette added: “Families in temporary accommodation in Watford are desperately looking for a home as some of these families have been in hotels for a long time.

“We need affordable homes.”

However, Cllr Bell responded that Cllr Collette’s comments were “emotional blackmail”.

He said: “There was nothing about planning reasons for turning it down.”

The application was approved with five members of the committee in favour and three against.

Committee chairman Cllr Peter Jeffree said: “Successful negotiation with the developer has allowed us to make the flats into mostly three and four-bedroom properties, which will meet the most urgent needs of the borough.

“The development has secured a large proportion of socially rented units making them genuinely affordable.”

In a statement after the meeting, Watford Borough Council’s head of development management Adrien Waite added: “Residents have been concerned about a lack of play facilities for children but there will be a children’s play area - we have made this a condition of approval. There will also be outdoor amenity areas all around the site.”