Lewisham Council is investigating after "unauthorised fencing" was put up around a green space in Brockley Rise, with more than 1,300 people signing a resident's petition in two days.

The site, at the junction between Brockley Rise and Duncombe Hill, is privately owned but contains trees subject of a tree protection order (TPO) which stops any works being carried out without obtaining the council's consent.

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The petition, started by Nicola Johnson, explains a "large, unsightly green fence" appeared around the space last weekend, blocking off public access.

She also claims the fence was erected without prior notice giving and without planing permission, something which the council has confirmed.

Concerns have also been raised over the future of the land as residents fear it may become the site of a new development. However, no planning application has been lodged as yet.

The petition calls on the council to immediately remove the fencing as it breaches planning controls and also for it to confirm the TPO to ensure permanent protection of the trees at this site.

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A spokeswoman for the council said that although it is looking into breach of planning controls, nothing can be immediately done about it.

"We’re grateful to residents for bringing this to our attention.

"Officers from our enforcement team and a tree officer have visited the privately-owned site and are taking steps to deal with the breach of planning controls, whilst also safeguarding the group of protected trees.

"Unfortunately, there is no enforcement action available to us which would secure the immediate removal of the unauthorised fencing, and the enforcement process may take several months to resolve the situation.

"We acknowledge the concerns of residents and would like to thank them for their ongoing patience in this matter," she said.