Campaigners are worried about what a huge fire at a shopping centre today will mean for development plans for the site.

A total of 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines spent more than four hours this morning tackling a huge blaze at The Mall in Selborne Road, Walthamstow. It is understood no-one was injured.

The Save Our Square group has scheduled an emergency meeting later this week to discuss what the owners of centre, Capital and Regional, might do next.

The company was granted planning permission by Waltham Forest Council in 2017 to redevelop the site.

The plans will see 29-storey residential tower blocks built on the Mall site as well as a redesign of the space that is now the town square; 80 mature lime trees will be felled in the process.

Nancy Taaffe, a spokesperson for the campaign group, said: “We are saddened to hear of this terrible fire at The Mall this morning. We salute the heroic work of all the firefighters involved and all who fought this terrible fire.

“However, we are very worried that the destruction of the Mall in this fire could be used to bring forward the implementation of plans for regeneration which are widely opposed by thousands of people in our community.”

Ms Taaffe reaffirmed the group’s opposition to the plans and directed people to the campaign’s Facebook page for more information and a survey which members of the public can fill out, which was sent out this week.

Cllr Clare Coghill, council leader, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank officers from the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police following the serious fire at the Mall in Walthamstow earlier today. It is in part down to their efforts that no one was injured during what was a very significant and extensive fire.

“The fire is now under control. Council officers are now working with the businesses affected, as well as the owners Capital and Regional, to try and give immediate support during this difficult time.

“We have provided temporary office space in nearby Hoe Street so that Capital and Regional have a base from which to operate and our Business Support Team are on hand to see where we can support retailers.”

The leader added the Mall is “an important facility” for many residents and also attracts visitors.

It is not yet known how long the Mall will be closed for and structural engineers are yet to gain access to the site to assess the damage to the building.

Nearby Walthamstow Library was also closed today due to smoke caused by the fire, but it is expected the library will open tomorrow as usual.

Walthamstow Central bus station will remain closed for now.

The council leader added: “The cause of the fire is being investigated and residents will be given updates as and when they are available.

Representatives from Capital and Regional will be arriving tomorrow to meet and assist staff affected by the fire and the subsequent closure.

Save Our Square’s emergency meeting will be held on Thursday July 25 at 7.30pm at The William Morris Community Centre, Greenleaf Road, Walthamstow.