Owners of land with an unlawful fence around it in Brockley Rise say they will appeal the council notice to take it down and submit a seven-flat planning application for the site next week.

But John Hamilton from Lewisham People Before Profit says the group will remove the fence with the help of residents next weekend, with a 5,000-plus petition calling for its removal to be presented at the full council meeting on Wednesday.

Residents raised concerns about the fence, which was put up without planning permission last month.

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

Mr Hamilton said the group still plans to take down the fence next weekend – with concerns an appeal will lengthen the amount of time the fence is up.

He asked landowners to keep the fence down until their planning application had been approved and construction work had begun, he said.

But a spokesperson for Investors Alliance said they planned to appeal the notice and hoped the fence would stay up.

He said their plans for the site would be both innovative and house local people.

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“We would like to apply for planning permission next week,” he said.

“We would like to see see if we can get some accommodation with that for local people

“We want to keep open park space.

“[the plans are] very open in nature and modern.

“We are keen architects and cringe at so many of the so-called modern architecture you see in Forest Hill.

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“We would like to build something new generations will look at and think ‘that was the 2000s’.”

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “We strongly advise against residents taking matters into their own hands and removing the fence, which could be both dangerous and raise legal implications.

“We urge patience while the correct legal process takes place for its removal, and please be assured we are treating this as an absolute priority.”