The demolition of Merton Hall to make way for a church has angered people for months on end.

Plans were approved in September last year for the council-owned building to become the new home for the Elim Pentecostal Church.

Elim is currently based in High Path on a site earmarked for a new secondary school, the Harris Wimbledon Academy.

Now the next step to connect the dots has been taken.

A planning application has been submitted that if approved, will officially allow for the demolition of the old church to make way for the school.

"The creation of Harris Academy is an investment for current and future generations," a document attached to the application read.

"This is why we have designed a building which is both elegant and sophisticated, which uses a robust palette of traditional materials that will stand the test of time, and which integrates

passive environmental design principles to enhance its performance and reduce energy consumption in use."

One of the main arguments raised by protestors was that Elim Church would deny LGBT groups to use the hall.

But council leader Stephen Alambritis has previously stressed that this would not be the case.

“They (Elim Church) have said they will let other groups and LGBT groups use [the hall],” he said.

The school itself will be available for community use, with the school building open for from 6pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

The sports hall, dance studio and MUGA will also be made available from 6pm to 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

This point was made clear in the application as any new "proposals resulting in a net loss of existing community facilities" would need to "demonstrate that the loss would not create a shortfall in provision for the specific community uses."

It also said that beacsue the church would be moving the Merton hall site, there would be "no loss in the provision of the specific community uses."