Plans to regenerate South Park Gardens were approved despite opposition from neighbours.

The picturesque gardens in the centre of Wimbledon will soon have a community pavilion with a refreshment kiosk, storage areas and toilets after the current building housing toilets and storage is demolished.

The dilapidated toilet block and storage sheds in the western corner of the park in Dudley Road will be demolished, and the timber refreshment kiosk will be removed.

The new storage space will be used for the Friends of South Park Gardens to store equipment for events.

Opposition from residents included concerns that a covered terrace would attract rough sleepers, drug dealers and will encourage people to congregate near neighbouring houses in the Victorian square.

The concerns were lodged as part of two stages of consultation process.

Other issues raised included an opposition to cab drivers using the new facilities, concerns over the community space being used by a playgroup and the proposed materials being out of character with the park.

More than 100 letters of support were also received after a public meeting in November last year.

The 2.4 hectare park was opened in 1901 and restored with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2009.

The gardens are Grade II listed in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest.

The plans were unanimously approved by the Merton Council planning committee on Thursday, March 27.