TENANTS have lost a High Court battle to stop missiles being based on top of a tower block during the Olympics.

Residents of Fred Wigg Tower on the Montague Road Estate in Leytonstone feared the missile launchers would make their homes a terrorist target.

But Mr Justice Haddon-Cave dismissed the concerns on Tuesday, agreeing with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that the block overlooking Wanstead Flats was the only suitable site to host the surface-to-air weapons.

The tower will now be one of six locations in and around London used to house missiles during the games, including the William Girling Reservoir in Chingford.

The residents' solicitor, Kieran O'Rourke, of Howe & Co Solicitors, claimed the residents had been ignored and had not been given time to prepare a legal challenge.

He said: "It's really disappointing.

"I feel very sorry for the residents because they have not been consulted and now their lives could well be at risk.

"We feel it's politically wrong and legally wrong but of course we have to respect the decision of the judge."

Mr O'Rourke argued that the block would be an attractive target for terrorists, providing an opportunity to kill soldiers and civilians.

But the MoD argued Olympic venues were more at risk. There will be no security at the entrance to the tower, which Mr O'Rourke believes leaves it vulnerable to suicide bombers and explosives left in vehicles.

He added: "The MoD had seven years to prepare for this but we had just a couple of months.

"The whole process has been undemocratic. This should have been discussed in Parliament."

Waltham Forest Council, which owns the tower block, signed a secret deal with the MoD to allow the building to be used earlier this year.

The tenants and their representatives are now considering an appeal, which must be submitted by tomorrow (July 13), when the missile sites are expected to be activated in preparation of the opening of the Olympic Village on Sunday.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter