RESIDENTS are demanding a public inquiry into development plans for the heart of their borough.

They claim multiple plans are being dealt with in a ‘piecemeal’ fashion and will cause traffic chaos, overcrowding and reduce Lewisham’s green space.

Newly-formed community organisation the Central Lewisham Action Group has written to the Government Office for London asking for a public inquiry into three applications.

The applications, still to be considered by Lewisham Council, are for Loampit Vale, Prendergast Vale School and Lee High Road.

And it also calls for inquiries into the Lewisham Gateway, Thurston Road and Conington Road flat developments which have already been approved.

They claim the council has not taken into account the cumulative effect of all the developments.

The group, which held a protests against the plans on has also written to the the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Helen Mercer, who has helped set up the action group, said: “We just feel that it’s not right to put these forward piecemeal.

“These are just huge developments and there’s no guaranteed extra infrastructure.

“The public and councillors should be given the full picture and told the exact nature of how these developments work together.”

They claim that if the plans go ahead there will be 16 high-density tall buildings crammed into the town centre.

But Deputy Mayor of Lewisham Cllr Heidi Alexander has dismissed the protestors claims.

She said: "It is simply wrong to say that local people haven't been consulted about these proposals and wrong to say that the council hasn’t considered the impact of different developments in the round.

"The council's area action plan deals with all the sites in the town centre and significant work has been done on how new development will impact upon traffic, public transport, schools and health services.

"I know that the proposals for the town centre represent a big change to the local area but something pretty radical has to happen if Lewisham is going to become the sort of town centre where we all want to spend time.

"A fantastic new swimming pool with new homes, new workspace and new shops is a critical part of transforming Lewisham into a town centre we can be proud of."

The changing face of Lewisham

Lewisham Bridge Primary School, Elmira Street. A new three and four-storey all-age school called Prendergast Vale with a two-storey sports hall. Planning decision not yet made.

104-120 Lee High Road, Lewisham. A five-storey development of one shop and 70 flats. Planning decision not yet made.

Loampit Vale, Lewisham. Eight buildings from five to 24 storeys including a leisure centre shops and 788 flats. Planning decision not yet made.

Lewisham Gateway, Lewisham High Street. A £250m town centre housing, retail and leisure facility project. Planning permission has been granted.

Thurston Road Industrial Centre, Jerrard Street. Two buildings up to 17 storeys high including retail units, a garden centre and 777 flats. Permission granted.

Conington Road. A four to 10-storey building containing 160 flats. Permission granted.