ANIMAL rights campaigners are calling on residents to support a planning application to build a housing estate at Walthamstow Stadium before the consultation deadline ends.

The 'Greyt Exploitations' group, who are supported by the Waltham Forest Green Party, argue that greyhound racing is cruel and harmful to animals - a claim denied by the industry.

They want residents to back a plan by owner and housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q) to build a housing complex at the site instead of a rival bid to reopen it as a racing venue.

The stadium closed in 2008 but campaigners from the Save Our Stow (SOS) group want L&Q to sell the site to millionaire businessman Bob Morton, who has pledged to introduce dog racing alongside new affordable housing.

L&Q says such a plan is not viable.

In a statement, a spokesman for Greyt Exploitations urged residents to back L&Q. He added: "The cruelty and suffering must stop."

Campaigners also want residents and supporters to lobby Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith, who both support the return of greyhound racing to the stadium.

Mr Morton strongly denies claims that animals would be harmed if the stadium was reopened for dog racing and says he has been working with the League Against Cruel Sports and the Dogs Trust on his bid, which is yet to be submitted to the council.

The consultation deadline for residents to submit their views on L&Q's plans expires this Thursday (August 4).

Visit, click on 'planning' and search for application 2011/0898 to view and comment on the plans.

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