Residents opposing floating homes on Surbiton’s filter beds are outnumbered in every ward, the developers have claimed.
Hydro Properties leafleted houses in the run-up to Tuesday’s decision asking people to sign a letter of support for its plans.
The plans would see 64 homes on a floating pontoon, with a marina, restaurant, nature reserve and riverside walk.
Phillip Wallis, managing director of Hydro, claimed “a significant number” of opponents to the floating homes live outside Surbiton.
He said: “If you look at where the core support is, it is from River Road and Surbiton, etc. The objections come from far wider afield.”
The company said some objections had come from as far away as France, and a table showed there was almost double the amount of supporters in the Kingston area compared with the number of oppositions.
Mr Wallis also said some residents had volunteered to help deliver the newsletter Seething Wells Life alongside company representatives.
He said: “We know of them, but they are not on the pay roll. They support us and want to see this development going through.”
Nick Booth, from Woodbines Avenue, who received a leaflet, said: “He had this printed letter for me to sign and I thought, ‘Hang on a second’.
“He had a folder and I noticed someone across the road also doing the same thing.
“He is obviously from the property developers posing as a concerned resident, but he did not say where he lived.”
Eight councillors on the planning development control committee will make a decision on Tuesday night with their own planning officer recommending that building on the filter beds is permitted.
Sport England, which was against the development, withdrew its objection subject to a legal agreement days before the meeting, saying it would have no knock-on effect on river activity.