PROTESTORS staged a silent protest at a council meeting in a bid to save a plot of land from development.

The campaigners want to stop flats being built on the land, which lies between Arlington Close and Hambledown Road on the Sidcup and New Eltham border.

In March, Greenwich Council gave planning permission to build seven two-bedroom bungalows on the land.

But the campaigners, who call themselves the Hambledowners, claim the land should be left as open space.

They have applied for it to become a village green and complained to the Local Government Ombudsman that they were not consulted.

At a meeting of Greenwich Council 10 Hambledowners held up signs saying “Save our green” as ward councillor Cllr Eileen Glover handed in their petition containing around 340 signatures.

Spokesman for the group, Sharon Haydon, 45, said: “We decided to stand and make a silent protest.

“Our petition contained statements form people who have lived there since 1936.

“The whole thing has been quite tortuous and is just going on and on.”

She added: “We thought applying for village green status would be a good way of demonstrating the whole community is interested in preserving it.”

Residents say the green had become overgrown in recent years but had previously been used for picnics and children’s games.

And Ms Haydon said: “When the grass was cut earlier this year we started to see people enjoying their green again.”

A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: "We have received objections to the applications and invited the applicants to comment on those objections.

"The application and comments will be evaluated, and a report will then be produced for the Council's General Purposes Committee."