Residents have hit out after a four storey apartment block for the over fifty-fives was approved by councillors last night.

Councillors on the planning committee at Merton Council rubber stamped plans for 20 flats for the over fifty-five age group in Darlaston Road, West Wimbledon.

The four storey building is currently unused, but formerly was a treatment centre for the elderly. Neighbours of the site spoke against the plan at the planning meeting at Merton Civic Centre.

Paul Knowles spoke on behalf of people that live in Darlaston Road.

He said: "To me this is about fairness. Is it fair to build a four storey block of flats in this area?

"It sets a dangerous precedent."

Neighbour Matthew Walters expressed fears his property would be over-looked and that there would be a negative impact on the environment with the development.

Mr Knowles stated after the meeting he thought the decision to approve plans was ‘appalling.’ The building will be demolished to make way for 19 two bedroom and one one bedroom flats for people over the age of fifty-five years.

There will be a communal garden and basement parking allowing one space per property.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant Central & Cecil Housing Trust, James Wallace of Hunters Architects said: "This is a much needed scheme in the borough."

Mr Wallace said the applicant had over 85 years of experience in providing housing for the elderly market.

The detached site, that is near to Worple Road, was originally built in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was extended to the rear in the 1990s to contain 38 bedsits for the elderly which are no longer being used.

During the consultation period a total of six letters of objection were received.