Residents are also opposed to the proposed block of 18 two-bedroom flats, in Ardwell Close, off Ravenswood Avenue, on the grounds that it will involve the unnecessary demolition of an Edwardian building "of charm and character".

Councillors from Wokingham District Council's development control committee are to visit the site on Friday, following a barrage of complaints over the plans.

If the scheme is approved, it will mean the demolition of Ardwell House, an Edwardian building currently divided into three houses.

Margaret Davies and her husband Eric, of Ardwell Close, are concerned about how the proposed flats would affect their present drainage problems.

Mrs Davies said: "When it rains we have flooding by the front door, so we can't use it.

"If the flats go ahead, we will get all the drainage from them and also from the builders.

"At the moment, our lawn is like a quagmire."

Bob Allday, also of Ardwell Close, raised the issue of parking and traffic congestion in a letter he wrote to the council.

He said: "I shall be right opposite these apartments and the extra traffic in the close will be hopeless.

"Ravenswood Avenue already has plenty of traffic and cannot take any more.

"There are no pavements and potholes in the road, plus patients from Ravenswood Village frequently walk along the road.

"Not to mention the fact that the current delightful ambience of Ardwell Close will be ruined."

Another Ardwell Close resident, Christopher Readings, accused officials from the district council of "unprofessionalism" over the plans, claiming there had been "no real evaluation of the site in terms of structure and no mention of drainage issues".

He said: "In all my experience of this country and Europe, I have never seen such unprofessionalism.

"But when the council committee said they would go and check the site for themselves, it restored my faith in democracy."

Residents in Crowthorne have presented a 78-name petition to Wokingham District Council, and several individual letters from people directly affected by the plans have also been submitted.

Their objections have been backed by Finchampstead, Crowthorne and Wokingham Without parish councils.

The parish councils have given a list of the main reasons for refusing the application. These include:

Increased hazards to motorists and pedestrians from traffic entering and leaving Ravenswood Avenue;

Increased traffic on an unadopted road, already in a bad state of repair;

The potential hazard to disabled residents of Ravenswood Village and their carers who regularly use Ravenswood Avenue;

Inadequate on-site parking at Ardwell House, leading to an increase in street parking, exacerbating the potential for car crime;

Further "erosion of architectural diversity in Crowthorne";

Overdevelopment and increased housing density, in a style not in keeping with the immediate area.

Unnecessary demolition of Ardwell House, an Edwardian building "of charm and character".

Cllr Robert Stanton, who is on the development and control committee, said: "No decision has yet been made.

"However, the site visit will be an important part of the consultation process."