Redevelopment work on Colliers Wood’s hated tower could start within three months, the building’s owners have said.

Michael Hughes, head of development at Criterion Capital, made the claim as he invited Merton Council to buy the building under a compulsory purchase order.

The company has been heavily criticised by the community for its failure to sell or develop the site since buying it, and was criticised again at a public meeting last month.

But Mr Hughes said genuine efforts to sell the site had fallen through - and called on the council to buy it or grant a “more viable” planning application, in which case work could start within three months.

He said: “We recognise this building is an eyesore and since the collapse of the property market the only options are to leave the property empty and mothballed or change the existing planning consent to create a viable scheme on strict condition and undertaking from us that we will build out.”