A petition urging the reversal of a Ministry of Defence decision to close Woolwich Barracks launched on Armed Forces Day has already received more than 1,000 signatures.

Greenwich Conservatives launched the renewed campaign to keep the Army in Woolwich with a petition started by Cllr John Hills, the local oposition’s spokesperson for armed forces and veterans.

The move has again appealed to defence chiefs to rethink the plan for closure, which was first announced in November 2016 as the Ministry of Defence looked to reduce its property ownership by a third.

It is due to take effect by 2028.

Councillors united at that time to condemn the decision, and passed a unanimous motion opposing it.

Since then local residents, the council and Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matthew Pennycook have continued to lobby for a reprieve, but there has been no sign yet of this happening.

Mr Pennycook last year presented a petition with 4,000 signatures rallying against the closure in the House of Commons last year.

“Woolwich is a military town, and we have a proud history with the Army locally, going back hundreds of years,” Cllr Hills, himself an Army veteran, said of the most recent move.

“The decision to close the barracks is simply wrong, and it needs to be reversed as soon as possible.

“I hope as many people as possible will sign this petition and let the government know the strength of feeling locally before it’s too late.”

The leader of Greenwich Conservatives, Councillor Nigel Fletcher, said borough residents were proud of their links to the Army.

“Each year on Armed Forces Day we show our appreciation for all the Armed Forces do to serve our country,” Cllr Fletcher said.

“But here in Royal Greenwich that is a very personal thing – the military are part of our local community, and have been for centuries.

“The council united in 2016 to condemn the decision to close the Barracks, and time is running out to get the decision reversed.

“We are proud of our links to the Army, and we want them to stay. I urge everyone locally to sign the petition Councillor Hills has started, and to join the campaign to Keep Woolwich Barracks Open.”

The petition can be seen at https://www.change.org/SaveWoolwichBarracks