A campaign against yet another betting shop opening on Plumstead High Street has ramped up as the council admitted it can’t do anything to stop the bookies from being opened.

Over 1,000 people have signed the petition against the William Hill set to open on the high street after the Planning Inspectorate overruled Greenwich Council’s decision to block the plans.

In its report, the Planning Inspectorate heavily criticised the council’s reasons for refusal, saying it was “bereft of objective appraisal and substantial evidence”.

Emma Boulton has set up the online petition in a further attempt to block the plans in what might be Plumstead residents' last opportunity to block the betting shop.

She said: “As a resident of Plumstead, who diligently used the online planning portal to express my concerns and objections, I felt very let down by their [Greenwich Council’s] failure.

“William Hill have now applied for a Gambling Licence, and we have one more opportunity to be heard on this matter.”

A number of people have written comments on the petition expressing their frustration with the number of betting shops in Plumstead.

Rosemary Savinson said: “These places target people who can least afford it. Opening these shops in areas where there is a high level of unemployment and poverty is a cynical move and will lead to desperate people becoming addicted. Greenwich has got far too many of these places already”

Deborah Edgar, from Blackheath, said: “There's too many betting shops in Plumstead High Street already, high unemployment and crime, don't encourage any more.”

A Greenwich Council spokesperson said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich shares both local residents’ and Ward Councillors’ disappointment that William Hill won an appeal to open another betting shop in our borough.

“Unfortunately we are unable to change the Planning Inspectorate’s decision but we will continue to work hard to address residents’ concerns and to refuse planning requests for new betting shops where we have legal and/or policy grounds to do so.

“We thoroughly accept that we did not defend our position robustly enough at the Appeals stage in this instance and apologise for this.

“We would like to reassure residents that we are addressing weaknesses in our processes, including the careful consideration of the legal basis for all planning applications.”