A GROUP of Bexley and Greenwich residents are fighting to save a plot of land behind their homes from development.

The Greenwich Council-owned land, including a public footpath, lies between Arlington Close in Bexley and Hambledown Road in Greenwich.

It is just inside the Greenwich borough boundary on the Sidcup/New Eltham borders.

Despite an on-going campaign by residents supported by Bexley Council which also objected, Greenwich gave planning permission in March to build seven two-bedroom bungalows on the land, although the planning board was split on the decision.

The residents, who formed a pressure group, the Hambledowners, to fight the redevelopment, say the land should be left as open space and have now applied to have it designated as a village green.

The Hambledowners say they are furious at the way Greenwich has handled the series of planning applications to develop the land.

They claim only some of the Bexley residents have been consulted, petitions against a previous application and Bexley’s objection were not reported to Greenwich’s planning board meeting and a site meeting did not take place at the agreed venue.

Residents have now complained to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Bexley Councillor Peter Craske, who represented the Arlington Close residents at the March meeting of the Greenwich planning board, said the site was not suitable for development and said Greenwich should use it as green space.

He was backed by Greenwich councillor Eileen Glover representing the Hambledown Road residents at the meeting.

She said the plans were an overdevelopment and the site had been kept as amenity space when the estate had been built.

A spokesman for Greenwich Council said the development was one of 12 sites across the borough which will provide 63 new council homes.

He said the original scheme was modified to reflect concerns expressed by local residents.

The spokesman added Greenwich had not heard from the Local Government Ombudsman whether she intends to investigate the residents' complaint.

Greenwich Council says it has now received two applications to register the site as a Town or Village Green.

The deadline for objections and other comments on this proposal is July 20.

These should be sent to Susan White, Greenwich Council, Law and Governance, 5th Floor, Riverside House West, Woolwich High Street, SE18.

The proposal will be decided by a council committee.