Campaigners protesting the Tidemill garden and Reginald House demolition plans have left their camp on the green, but vow their protest is not over.

The camp sprung up after scores of bailiffs evicted campaigners from the Tidemill garden with security guarding the site from last October costing Lewisham Council more than £1 million, figures suggest.

Protestors had pushed for new plans to be drawn to keep the garden and 16 flats at Reginald House.

An eviction hearing was expected today but campaigners have agreed to leave the green to avoid having to pay costs to the council, a Save Tidemill Save Reginald spokesperson said.

This comes after an initial eviction hearing was adjourned to allow the campaigners to file a defence.

The spokesperson said: “We are withdrawing amicably from the protest camp, but our campaign against this misplaced development continues.

“Through the council’s failure to recognise the human rights issues involved in the protest camp, we have secured a two and a half month delay to the plans for the site, which should have encouraged Lewisham Council and Peabody to think again,” they said.

But the campaign, which has been ongoing since 2012, will continue to push for demolition plans for Reginald House to be dropped, they said.

“We continue to demand that the council give up on the proposed destruction of Reginald House, where 80 per cent of residents want to stay but have been denied a ballot by the council,” the spokesperson added.

“We put up 72 white crosses to commemorate the trees that were destroyed in the garden, and we have continued to secure community support for resistance to these ill-conceived plans.

Plans between the council and Peabody include the demolition of the garden and 16 homes in Reginald House to make way for a 209-house development – with 104 new homes to be let at ‘genuinely affordable’ rent.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Paul Bell, said he was pleased the scheme could now progress.

He said: “I am pleased that we can progress the scheme to house people, and hope we can avoid any unnecessary eviction.

“I respect their right to protest. We all live in a democracy,” he added.

When asked if he would do anything differently, he said the council would internally review the saga “in due course”.

“With everything, we need to look at what worked, and what could’ve worked better,” he explained.

Lewisham Homes and Lewisham Council U-turned on plans for a  housing development in Sydenham following stiff local opposition, but the council “couldn’t have that detailed re-look” at the Tidemill development, he said.

“But I think the 104  new social homes speaks for itself,” he added.

“We have a long way to go. I am pleased now the scheme which is very delayed can go forward.”

Demolition work at the garden began the same day Lewisham declared a climate emergency, in a move campaigners branded as hypocritical.

Air pollution at nearby Deptford Church Street was found to be at six times the safety levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, according to experts at Goldsmiths.