Campaigners have pledged to boycott an Orpington shopping centre should a major re-development go ahead which would transform the town centre.

Developer Ariel Real Estate is proposing to partly demolish the Walnuts Shopping Centre, on High St, with the residential units to be spread across 19-storey and 24-storey buildings along with 1000 flats.

A petition, already signed by 500 people, claims the developer is failing to consider the opinions of nearby residents, who object to the “sheer size and scale” of the proposals.

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It reads: “This petition to pledge to boycott the shops, restaurants, cafés and bars delivered if this development goes ahead without taking into account our concerns gives us the opportunity to make the strength of our feelings known to the wider public.

“Local residents, those living within half a mile of the development site, will feel the biggest negative impacts from this project and so we should have the greatest influence on what is delivered not people living miles away.

“The people signing this petition are not saying no to redevelopment but are saying no the sheer size and scale of the current proposals.

“The below signatories pledge to boycott the shops, restaurants, cafés and bars delivered by this project unless the scale and size is significantly reduced so as to be sympathetic with the current landscape and to local services.”

The developer describes the project as “a once in a generation opportunity to create a beautiful, vibrant and sustainable town centre destination for Orpington and its communities.”

Areli Real Estate is leading the project on behalf of global investment company Tikehau Capital, which acquired the shopping centre in 2019 for more than £30m.

A local consultation was opened in December last year, having been delayed due to Covid-19.

A community consultation took place in person at the shopping centre, starting on June 3.

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Part of the existing buildings would be retained, according to the developer’s application for an environmental assessment, and the existing multi-storey car park would be extended.

Two smaller buildings, in addition to the tower blocks, would also be built - one two-storey and one nine-storey.

The total mixed-use development would create 100,000sqm of floorspace across the residential units, state of the art leisure, office floor space and car parking, together with “new and enhanced public realm, access and connectivity across the site.

The plans remain at a relatively early stage, with the developer yet to submit a planning application.