Campaigners are calling on Greenwich Council to block plans for more than 700 new homes in Woolwich.

Speak Out Woolwich, a residents group, has started a petition opposing development plans for Spray Street Quarter.

An application for 740 homes, a cinema, shops and a nursery was submitted in January by Spray Street Quarter LLP, a joint venture between developer St Modwen and Notting Hill Housing Trust.

Of the 700-plus homes, 35 per cent - or 260 homes - will be "affordable" for rent and purchase.

The new homes would be a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments and townhouses.

The site was earmarked for regeneration by Greenwich Council in 2012's Woolwich Town Centre Masterplan.

However, more than 130 people have now backed a petition that wants the plan to be rejected.

John Edward, a spokesman for Speak Out Woolwich, said: "Though we welcome the development of this area, including the creation of a new public square, cinema, nursery etc, will be objecting on the grounds of insufficient social housing, loss of local heritage and the impact on local jobs and businesses. This scheme could be so much better. "

If the application gets the green light, existing buildings including the covered market would be knocked down in place of a new town square, several new buildings - the tallest of which would be 21 storeys.

Street Feast, which opened earlier this month, is currently making use of the market site and has plans to be there for the next year while regeneration plans move forward.

The multi-million pound development is spread over six blocks and has a masterplan of being centred around a new public open space.

In the petition, Speak Out calls for rejection on the grounds of: "The small number of family homes means that as families grow they have to move out of the area. Already local people, especially local younger people, are being forced out of the area because they can’t afford to live here.

"Over 150 local small businesses currently operate in the area. These are overwhelmingly black and ethnic minority (BME) businesses. These businesses will have to move out (with many therefore closing) and the new rents will be set too high even if some do eventually want to move back."

If the planning application is approved, Spray Street Quarter LLP will begin the process of acquiring the brownfield land necessary to start construction in 2020.

A spokesperson for Spray Street Quarter LLP said: "Regeneration projects in town centres are complex and with many competing elements.

"A balance always needs to be struck between delivering the regeneration benefits and addressing local sensitivities.

"Our proposal will deliver significant benefits, including up to 742 new homes, 35 per cent of which will be affordable, a new cinema, and around 440 permanent jobs for local people when complete, with approximately 550 temporary jobs created each year during the construction period.

"We are working closely with the Greenwich Council to help them find potential options to relocate displaced businesses nearby, so that employment on-site is retained within the borough before businesses are required to vacate in 2020.

"We continue to liaise closely with the council to make sure that the project will be something that the local community can be proud of.”

You can see the petition here.