A CAMPAIGN group is launching a 1,000-name petition to fight proposals for a sex shop in the heart of a town centre.

Woolwich 4 Families, organised by the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) party, wants to quash Darker Enterprises Limited's hopes of getting a sex establishment licence for the premises of the former Singer Sewing Centre, Thomas Street, Woolwich.

This follows Greenwich Council's move two weeks ago to defer a decision on whether to grant the company a licence in order to allow the applicant time to examine other sites.

Now Woolwich 4 Families plans a 1,000-name petition calling on the council to accept late objections against the proposed sex shop.

Stephen Hammond, spokesman for the group and CPA's London Assembly candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham, says a sex shop will discourage people from visiting Woolwich.

He said: "The nature of the sex shop will also attract unsavoury characters. Has the council considered whether sex offenders will be drawn to the extreme material which may become available?

"Based on the council's own estimates, in any given hour, 46 children are likely to be in very close proximity to the proposed sex shop if it is allowed to trade.

"Also, the proposed sex shop would be situated within the middle of a shopping centre zone and within 200 to 300 metres of various schools, churches and other places of worship."

The group says there was a low amount of objections seven letters plus a 53-name petition from neighbouring restaurant Curry Asia due to legal time constraints.

Darker Enterprises Limited owns a string of similar sex shops throughout the country, including one in Lewisham Road, Lewisham, selling pornographic videos, hardcore magazines and sex toys.

A council spokesman said: "There needs to be time to allow further discussion between officers and the applicant which will include the consideration of alternative location."

The licensing sub-committee is expected to hear the application at its next meeting at Woolwich town Hall, Wellington Road, Woolwich, on June 15.

Woolwich 4 Families will hold a demonstration outside the proposed sex shop site at 11am on June 5.