A SEAFRONT house could be demolished to make way for four modern homes...sparking fears of overdevelopment and a loss of wildlife.

Plans have been submitted to knock down Haydon House, in Underwood Square, Leigh. In its place will be a development of five-bedroom family properties.

Developers claim the existing building is set on a large plot of land, which is “uncharacteristic” for the area.

Leigh Town Council has formally objected to the application - calling for Haydon House to become a listing building to protect it from future development.

A spokesman said: “The plan to place four five-bedroom houses on the plot is considered to be an overdevelopment. There would be a loss of four on-street parking spaces, which would be detrimental to an area that already suffers from parking stress.”

Concerns were also raised about a loss of greenery and damage to the habitat of animals including bats, badgers and deer, which are regularly spotted around the house.

The spokesman added: “In the opinion of Leigh Town Council, Haydon House should be a locally listed building and requests that Southend Council consider this.”

The proposed new homes have pitched roofs, similar to the existing property.

A report published by SK Architects, based in London Road, Westcliff, which is leading the developement, reads: “The single house has an excessive and uncharacteristic setting and open space in an otherwise semi urban/sub urban context of this part of Leigh”

The plans hope to “create a small unique development of simple and slightly decorative family homes to mediate and respond to the varying context and domestic scale of Underwood Square.”

Alan Crystall, 82, of Cliff Parade, Leigh, said: “The development needs to give some kind of reference to the original building. I am not unhappy with the plans – it does play reference to some of the original features.

“Buildings change in function over time, for example, now people want more open spaces in dwellings and rooms like games rooms and offices so they have to change. As long as some elements are picked up, it is fine.

“We have to get the most possible usage out of space so that we don’t have to build on the green belt.”

Southend Council will have the final say on the application.