Plans to demolish 19th century steel lattice framed gas holders in Sydenham to make way for a new Aldi have been rejected by Lewisham Council.

The proposals would have seen the towering 38 metre tall gas holders torn down and replaced with the store, a café, restaurant and 100 car parking spaces.

The steel frames of the gas holders were built in the late 1800s but haven’t been used since the 1990s and were formally decommissioned in 2012 following changes in the way gas is stored.

The gas holders were designated as listed structures on October 25 at a meeting of Lewisham Council’s cabinet, but the looming Aldi construction threatened their future.

However the plans were rejected by the Lewisham planning committee at a meeting on November 23.

A petition with 640 signatures entitled “save the Bell Green Gas Holders” was submitted at a council meeting on July 17 by councillor Alan Hall.

Cllr Hall said: “On balance Lewisham Council’s Planning Committee have rejected the application to demolish the Bell Green Gas Holders.

“Local residents were concerned about air quality, traffic and they were disappointed that the site had not been considered for housing.

“The Gas Holders survived bombing raids in WWII and they have survived a skirmish with Planning Committee C.”

A number of other local groups had protested against the plans because of the historical significance of the gas holders.

These include the Victorian Society, Sydenham Society, Forest Hill Society, and the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society, the last of whom call the gas holders a “good examples of the early form of lattice guide frames”.

A number of other people however submitted letters of approval for the new scheme, saying the land currently attracts litter and fly-tipping and that it would be good to have a coffee shop and restaurant nearby.