Residents have spoken out about living in an “atmosphere of intimidation” with security guards and dogs guarding the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford day and night.

Security have remained at the site since last Monday when scores of bailiffs evicted campaigners who had occupied the garden for two months.

The garden is part of controversial plans between Lewisham Council and Peabody to demolish 16 homes at Reginald House and the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden to make way for a 209-home development.

Of the development, 117 homes will be let at London affordable rent levels.

Reginald Road resident Ruby Radburn said security dogs barking and floodlights on at the garden at night are making it difficult to sleep.

Ms Radburn is opposed to the demolition of the the garden and Reginald House. 

“I live directly opposite the garden on Reignald Road. My bedroom and son’s bedroom are directly opposite. Lights from the site shine into my window and the dogs are barking on and off. I wake up to it every morning,” she explained.

She said there was an “atmosphere of intimidation” created from the security presence, which she said involved about 40 men, and that she had had “run-ins” with security after asking them to keep their voices down after midnight.

“It’s is not just that they are there, it is that they did the eviction and everyone witnessed that. It really did feel like an act of violence on the community,” she said.

“I couldn’t sleep because they were talking so loudly out in the street. They were not making any effort to keep their voices down.”

Ms Radburn said she went outside to ask them to keep their voices down and felt intimidated.

“One of them said to me ‘it’s a Friday night.’ It is intimidating, you would think they would say sorry,” she said.

Reginald House resident Diann Gerson, who was injured while she was a bystander during the eviction, said security often swore and argued with each other.

Ms Gerson is part of the Save Tidemill Save Reginald campaign.

“The security stare at you when you are coming in and out and I even heard them shouting and swearing at each other having an argument. It’s very disconcerting.

“I have personally had to ask them to stop the dogs. It is all day and all night,” she said.

Cllr Joe Dromey said he was aware of residents’ concerns and had raised them with the Mayor Damien Egan, and the council’s chief executive.

“I’m really sorry to hear of these concerns. I’ve raised them with our chief executive and the Mayor. They, like me, are keen to ensure that local residents are treated with the respect that they deserve,” he said.

“It is a great shame that the eviction was necessary. The Tidemill Garden group agreed to take on the site on a temporary basis, yet they refused to leave the site, even after their judicial review failed.

“London is facing a severe and growing housing crisis, and Lewisham has 2,000 homeless households. They deserve a home. The Tidemill site will provide 104 additional social homes, the largest increase in social housing in our borough in a generation,” he said.

County Enforcement, which provides the security staff, have been contacted for comment.