The inhabitants of a council block which may be demolished to make way for the new Woolwich Leisure Centre have made a desperate appeal for councillors to ditch the move.

Residents living in Troy Court, a council housing block built specifically for people aged over 55, submitted a petition to Greenwich Council earlier this year.

In their petition, they alleged the council hadn’t “properly consulted” residents over the move, while adding the proposal was “very distressing at this stage of our lives”.

“We are elderly residents and wish to remain in our homes, not be moved elsewhere,” the petition, which gathered 19 signatures, read.

June’s full meeting of Greenwich Council saw the authority respond, but not before Cllr David Gardner read out a statement on behalf of those who wrote it, with Cllr Gardner explaining the authors didn’t have “access to technology” required to log on to the virtual meeting.

“There’s a number of reasons why we’re making such a fuss about a little block of flats,” Cllr Gardner said on behalf of the signatories.

“The persons who designed (Troy Court) had one thing in mind – old people…All the ingredients add up to a near perfect place for independent retirement.

“Why can’t you encourage independent retirement instead of bulldozing it away?”

Cllr Anthony Okereke, the cabinet member for housing, responded that consultation on the project had been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic “and we will be looking at what happens next”.

He added the council had to do its best to replenish the amount of housing stock it operates (the new Woolwich leisure centre plan includes plans for homes), while the council would look to care for its vulnerable residents “in the best way possible”.

“Finding that balance and getting the best use of land, that’s our aim,” he said.

Cabinet members in January approved a proposal to continue the relocation of the Woolwich Leisure Centre to a new premises facing General Gordon Square.

The move could see Troy Court, a pub and other businesses along Vincent Road knocked down to make way for the leisure centre and new housing.

Earlier this year, residents of the block spoke at a public meeting about what they said was a lack of consultation by the council.

Then-community services and children’s safety cabinet member Cllr Jackie Smith told the January meeting that the project had to be progressed so they could consult residents further.

“What people  were saying tonight about consultation could not happen until there’s a cabinet decision tonight where we progress to look at partners and designs,”  she said.

“There’ll be no loss of social housing – we need this decision tonight to move from one decision to another.”