A meeting in New Cross turned violent with one person arrested after protestors “attacked” council staff and members of the public.

Emotions have been high after bailiffs evicted campaigners from the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, which is part of development plans, and the abrupt departure of Lewisham Council chief executive Ian Thomas last week.

Lewisham Council staff were targets of violence from demonstrators protesting outside the New Cross Assembly at the Mulberry Centre in Amersham Vale on Tuesday, a council spokesperson said.

“On Tuesday evening, Damien Egan, the Mayor of Lewisham, and New Cross ward councillors attended a local assembly to meet and hear from local residents.

“Sadly, a number of individuals were intent on disrupting the meeting. Despite these individuals being violent towards council staff and abusive to members of the public, the meeting went ahead with support from the police.

“At the end of the meeting, as council staff and members of the public left the event, people were attacked and the police had to intervene to protect them to ensure everyone got home safely.

“The Mayor condemns, in the strongest possible terms, any abuse, intimidation and violence directed at council staff, councillors and members of the public.”

The Mayor condemned the violence and said: “Everyone has a right to protest but violence is completely unacceptable.

“We are supporting those staff who were targeted by protesters and we are helping the police in their investigation.

“We remain committed to building 104 new social homes in Deptford for local families who are in desperate need of housing.”

A Met Police spokesperson said police were called to the protest at 7pm to ensure there was not a breach of the peace, with a 25-year-old man later arrested on suspicion of a public order offence. He was issued with a penalty notice for disorder.

A spokesperson from the Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign said the demonstrators were a mix of locals and people from outside the borough, but the group did not condone violence.

She said the man who was arrested was not known to the campaign.

“We as a campaign do not condone violence or intimidation tactics and do not want to see this going forward,” she said.

“However what happened on Tuesday needs to be understood as a reaction to the violent eviction of protestors from the Garden to people being ignored, treated with contempt and vilified by the council and Peabody during the consultation and after to the lack of transparency around the scheme.”