Residents protested the controversial demolition of a wildlife garden at a consultation on the Tidemill redevelopment in New Cross.

The plans include the demolition of 16 homes at Reginald House and the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden to make way for a 209-home development.

Developer Peabody held the event at the Deptford Lounge in order to create a working group to provide input on the design for the open spaces on the development.

But residents were unhappy with the plans for demolition.

One resident, whose family had lived in the area for three generations, told the developer it was “vandalism” to demolish Reginald House.

“I was born in Deptford, my parents were born in Deptford, my grandparents were born in Deptford – the urban backdrop of my life includes the big council estates,” he said.

“To me it is utter vandalism to destroy it. You are talking about a landscape, [and] to destroy Reginald House is to me just criminal.

“You are destroying part of our heritage in order to provide us with your so-called better design solution.”

He added: “The building itself should be listed not demolished.”

Save Tidemill spokeswoman Harriet Vickers, who protested outside the event, said all residents wanted was for plans to be rewritten to keep the garden.

“So many friendships have been made in there,” she said.

“That is what they are replacing – genuine community.

“So many people want to be heard and want the plans to be rewritten.”

Save Tidemill Campaign pushed for Lewisham Council to ballot residents on the development.

London Assembly member for Lewisham Len Duvall has previously criticised the council’s decision to push ahead with plans, after the initial agreement between Lewisham Council and Peabody expired.

He asked that Lewisham Council reaffirm “their commitment to protecting our usable green space, and to balloting tenants when their homes are part of a proposed development.”