A protest camp which sprung up after bailiffs turfed out campaigners from the Tidemill garden in Deptford last October has been given an eviction notice.

Demonstrators set up camp on the green next to the Old Tidemill Garden to oppose plans to demolish the garden and Reginald House.

Lewisham Council served the demonstrators with an eviction notice on Tuesday, with a court hearing scheduled today.

A council spokesperson said: “Whist we want to avoid court action, if the Council does not receive vacant possession of the site before March 8, we will have no alternative but to go to court and obtain a possession order and subsequently evict the trespassers.”

MORE: Lewisham Council spent £105k on Tidemill Garden eviction

The council tried to clamp down on the protestors last December threatening the camp with a public service protection order, a notice which bans an activity which is not normally illegal, but were criticised by human rights charity Liberty for trying to restrict protest.

A spokesperson for the Save Tidemill Save Reginald campaign said the camp should be seen as a political protest.

“The occupation of the green began as soon as the Old Tidemill Garden was evicted, back in October, to continue the Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign’s opposition to Lewisham Council and Peabody’s plans for the Tidemill site and as such it should clearly be seen as a political protest.”

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The spokesperson questioned why other council-owned sites in Lewisham had not yet been developed into social housing.

“In addition, Lewisham Council is complaining that we are preventing them from building homes. If they are genuinely concerned to build new homes so quickly, then why have they left the Amersham Vale and Besson Street sites empty for so many years?”

A site in Amersham Vale was “twinned” with Tidemill, which meant delays to the Tidemill development impacted its start time, while plans for Besson Street will see a 300-home development at London living rent – a type of housing for middle-income earners, according to council documents.

Councillor Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing, said Tidemill was a “key part” of the council’s pledge to build 1,000 new homes.

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“We want to move forward with building these vital social homes for local people and families who have been waiting years for secure, affordable housing,” he said.

“Work has already started on the main site and we now need to ensure that work continues to progress. Every day there is a delay to the scheme, a family has to wait even longer for a home of their own. We are determined to tackle the housing crisis by delivering 1,000 new social homes and the Tidemill development is a key part of that commitment.”

Plans between the council, which owns the land, and housing association Peabody include 117 homes at London affordable rent, a type of social rent

MORE: Tidemill residents speak of 'atmosphere of intimidation'

London affordable rents, according to GLA guidance, would see a one-bed rented out at £144.26 per week, a two-bed at £152.73 and a three-bed at £161.33.

But figures obtained by the campaign show council rent at £84.97 per week for a one-bed, £95.54 for a two-bed and a three-bed at £111.81.

However council spokesperson said social rents varied depending on the value of the home. 

She said a 'traditional' social rent in new-build council home in New Cross would be £141.43 per week for a one bed, £149.79 for a two-bed, and £158.06 for a three bed.

The development will also see 41 shared ownership homes, and 51 homes for private sale.