A derelict building will be brought back to life after plans for sports pitches and refurbishment were approved.

Sports fans can celebrate after plans to transform The Pavilion Youth Office, Farm Road, Morden, into a sports hub with three hard surfaced netball courts, a cricket and rugby pitch were approved last night.

The pavilion said to be a target for vandals will be given a new lease of life after an application was given the go-ahead by planning committee members at Merton Council.

St Helier ward member Councillor Maxine Martin said she was keen for the site to be brought back into use.

Coun Martin said: "St Helier hasn’t got any community facilities.

"The pavilion is a beautiful old building but it is falling apart and it is dilapidated.

"Most of the work will have to take place inside."

The committee heard the 235 square metre building would be increased to 275 square metres with a pitched roof that has been amended from a flat roof in an earlier application.

Councillors heard the area, which includes a large playing field, has been subject to vandalism and an arson attack but it is hoped it will be used for a number of different community related activities once the work is completed.

Permitted hours of use will be 7am to 11pm seven days a week.

Coun Martin added: "I would like to turn this into the village hall for St Helier."

A petition signed by seventeen people was submitted to the council objecting that the number of netball courts was excessive, parking, it would see residents become vulnerable to vandalism and break-ins and a tree survey had not been carried out.

The bid was later amended to feature just eleven parking spaces, approved on the basis users would be encouraged to travel to the venue by foot or on public transport.