Campaigners have vowed to take their protest against 500 new homes “right to the diggers”.

Save our Square E17 (SOS) had expected one last chance to persuade councillors to reject proposals for The Mall in Walthamstow, back in July after developers Capital & Regional were given outline planning permission in December.

Campaigners wrongly assumed Waltham Forest Council still needed to formally rubber-stamp the controversial plans.

However, the proposals were given final approval by the Greater London Authority in March and the council and developers only needed to discuss the Section 106 agreement, which is used to “mitigate the impact of new buildings on infrastructure.”

Now Nancy Taaffe, from SOS, is furious this means there will not be another chance for protesters to vent their opposition.

She said: “We are shocked appalled that it looks as though this council has convened behind residents’ backs.

“We thought people would get a chance to vent their frustrations, one last chance to appeal to councillors not to go ahead.

“We’re not giving up, this is going right to the diggers.”

The plans include an 86,000 sq ft extension of the existing shopping centre, 500 new homes, a new town square and the creation of 500 new jobs.

The plans are worth around £200 million but the developer is also investing £1.5 million to support the future upgrade of Walthamstow Central Station.

They include moving the children’s playground currently in front of the Mall and the felling of 80 mature trees on the site.

Cllr Alan Siggers, the leader of the Conservative group who also sits on the planning committee, says it should be brought back to committee.

He said: “Its fairly typical Waltham Forest – it’s an ‘oh dear, not very good, must try harder' moment.

“I will look to see if there is any precedent of it coming back to committee once outline planning permission has been approved.”

Work is anticipated to commence on the site in 2020.

Cllr Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “It has been a completely transparent process which has been fully open to press and public scrutiny from the outset.”

The committee meeting where the proposals were discussed and given outline planning permission, in both December and March, were “widely publicised,” he added.

“From the very start when we sent thousands of letters to residents after receiving the initial application, we have provided regular public updates at every stage of the process,” he said.

“We are pleased that we are now able to move ahead with this landmark development which will breathe new life into Walthamstow town centre, providing much-needed homes alongside new retail outlets and an upgrade of Walthamstow Central Station.”

Save our Square is now holding a public meeting at the William Morris Community Centre on September 5 at 7pm.