A PETITION of more than 600 signatures is calling for the regeneration of a "neglected" Eltham shopping parade which used to be the "heart" of the community.

Empty shops, poor lighting, and a lack of CCTV are some of the problems residents want tackled at The Mound shopping area off the Coldharbour Estate.

News Shopper: Empty shops at The Mound

The ‘Mend The Mound’ petition of 642 signatures was collected by Conservative councillors and handed in to Greenwich Council calling for investment in an area where some shops have stood empty for around four years and residents feel unsafe in the evenings.

There are calls for stores such as a greengrocers, butchers, bakers, and even a fish and chips shop, for the once "thriving" area whose large elderly population currently have to travel to do much of their shopping.

News Shopper: Janet Wainwright

Janet Wainwright, who spent her youth playing on the estate and lives nearby off Montbelle Road, said: "It is the core of Coldharbour Estate. I used to use them all the time. Gradually. one by one they went.

"There are just corner shops now and the heart has been taken out.

"It will benefit so many people if they had more shops there and would improve the lives of many residents, especially the elderly."

The 66-year-old mother-of-two said the problem started with people not feeling safe around the shops but this could be solved with improved lighting.

News Shopper: Empty shops at The Mound

Chairman of Coldharbour and New Eltham Conservatives Councillor John Hills, said: "We have had an overwhelming response from Coldharbour residents.

"The Mound used to be a thriving shopping area, and it can be again. It's time the council listened to local people and ended its neglect of our part of the borough."

He went on to say the council should lower the rent rates to tempt more people to set up shop at The Mound where there are currently six empty stores.

A Greenwich Council spokeswoman said: "As with any petition presented to the council, this matter will be given full consideration and reported back to council. We thank the residents for presenting their petition."