A block of 90s apartments will be expanded for the elderly in Molesey amid concerns over a private passageway.

Mole Valley, a group of "affordable" homes in Abbey Walk in West Molesey, will be expanded to provide an additional "much-needed" eight apartments for elderly residents.

Planning permission for the revamp and extension was granted at a meeting of the north area planning committee at Elmbridge Council on Monday night.

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Mole Abbey in Abbey Walk will be redeveloped (pic: Google Maps)

The new scheme, by Crowns Simmons Housing, will comprise of 28 one and two-bedroom apartments, including eight for rent, 16 for shared ownership, four for private sale and new communal facilities.

11 of the existing 90's flats will be retained as eight new apartments will be rented by existing residents.

Councillors permitted the application, permit to conditions, despite the plans receiving 14 objections from residents.

Several residents in Dundas Gardens opposed plans to install a gate that would allow residents access into the private pathway along their homes.

One neighbour suggested that by adding the gate it would increase the risk of "fly tipping, littering and dog fouling offences" and "criminal damage, vandalism, graffiti and drug dealing".

Another said: "I am concerned regarding safety and security. 

"This passage is narrow, unlit and overgrown. To open up this passage to through traffic from the new development is to invite undesirable elements to the rear of our properties."

But a spokeswoman for Crown Simmons assured residents that the inclusion of the access was suggested by residents during a consultation.

She said: "The idea of a passageway was developed from a residents' consultation where they said they wanted a shortcut. It's sheltered housing primarily for people who will be over 60, it's not pitching to be a general needs housing estate.

"It's specifically designed for older people. It will effectively be a gated community. [The passageway] would only be accessible to residents."

Work on the homes is expected to start before the end of the year and will take two years to complete.