Network Rail has halted work over community concerns about the “destruction” of greenspace in Grove Park.

The train company had been working on a planned upgrade of rail signalling equipment on nature conservation land near Grove Park Station before criticism flooded in.

Sydenham councillor Liam Curran told News Shopper the treatment of the greenspace was “heartbreaking”.

He added: “It is quite an amazing space and very important for nature. Network Rail has not adhered to its own sustainability and environmental policies.

“It is very dispiriting and disappointing. The space is for peoples well-being and enjoyment of nature. So many things are attacking it at the moment and the last thing we need is Network Rail clearing the whole area of greenspace.”

He said Lewisham Council will meet Network Rail soon to negotiate a solution.

Cllr Curran added that he hopes Network Rail act responsibly in the future because the area supports a “limitless number of creatures”.

Grove Park Community Group said the train operator had “wrecked” the site before calling it a “shocking destruction”.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “This site was being cleared as part of a planned upgrade to rail signalling equipment. We have halted the work following the concerns raised and are now in discussions with the council.

“We look forward to meeting with community groups once those discussions have finished.”

The site is next to a railway with the nearby stations being Grove Park station and Elmstead Woods station.

Proposals have been sent to Lewisham Council under the Grove Park Neighbourhood Plan to extend other green areas to create an Urban National Park.

The plan centres around a public park, which will aim to link different green spaces around Lewisham and Bromley.

Preserving wildlife is a priority for planners who want to make greenspace which was previously inaccessible available to all.

The project is influenced by the 1906 book The Railway Children where the setting was inspired by the author’s walks to Chelsfield railway station.