A GRANNY flat to be built in a front yard could set a precedent for Blacktown City, thanks to a loophole in state planning laws.
Residents in Balimba Place, Whalan are concerned of the ramifications after a land owner got private certification under the Affordable Rental Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).
The homes were built in a way where the front yards face a walkway and the back faces the street.
Neighbours fear a proposed two-metre fence around the property front will encourage vandalism and graffiti in the walkway.
They claimed the owner doesn't live in the area and wants to build the flat for rental purposes.
Jenny and Laurie Sherwood have lived in the street for 44 years and collected more than 20 signatures opposing the development.
"We are original home owners and will be here until the day we die," Mrs Sherwood said.
"We need to keep Whalan the way it is because this type of development is wrong."
Fellow home owner John Svoboda said he feared the area would become a ghetto.
"It will change the appearance of the area and set a precedent for others to do the same," he said.
"I hope I'm wrong but the walkway could be prone to antisocial behaviour.
"While council officers believe that the SEPP's provisions have been applied correctly, we agree . . . the granny flat is in an unfortunate position, despite the SEPP's provisions not being breached," a Blacktown Council spokesman told the Sun.
"The council is writing to the Premier and Planning Minister, requesting the loophole in the SEPP be rectified."