A campaign has been launched to save one of the oldest buildings in south Wimbledon.

Developers lodged an application to build homes on the site of Rose Cottage in Hamilton Road, on the Battles estate, which would then lead to the demolition of the building.

The Battles Area Residents Association (BARA) has launched a petition calling on the council to reject the application.

Vice chair of BARA Philip Whiteside said: “It would be a tragedy if this building that has survived two world wars and dates from the end of the Napoleonic Wars is torn down now.

“Everyone knows that housing is very much in need in London and no one has any objections to more housing, but any development should maintain the character of the area.

Beliche Comercio Internacional Ltd has applied to build nine new homes on the site at 101 Hamilton Road, which will consist of four four-storey terraced houses, split into duplexes, and a separate two-storey house.

A previous campaign was launched to save Rose Cottage when the developer successfully applied for a demolition order and until recently, the home - built around 1810 - appeared to have been given a reprieve.

Mr Whiteside said it showed a lack of creativity from the architect and developer that they couldn't find a viable way to retain the building.

He said: “It strikes me that the architect this developer has employed could be accused of showing a singular lack of imagination and creativity in failing to come up with a solution for this site that retains a building that has been a longstanding feature of the Battles area."

He added: "We need as many people as possible to tell the council why they think this building should be saved for future generations.”

The council previously approved a planning application that would have allowed the house to be ‘retained and restored.'

That application, for six dwellings including flats and new accommodation at the rear, was never built.

BARA says it has no objection to those plans, because a condition of the approval would have ensured the restoration of Rose Cottage.

The agent in charge of the application - JLL - said in a planning statement that there were no reasons why Rose Cottage should not be demolished.

"From our discussions with the council, it is evident that it is necessary to review the level of historic/architectural interest in the building," the statement said.

"We therefore point out the following:

Rose Cottage is not statutorily nor locally listed. An application to Historic England to list the building was declined in 2012 on the basis that it had no special

architectural and/or historic interest – the key test for listing.

"The building was considered for local listing in 2013 but this was declined, with the council also concluding that the building did not meet the necessary criteria.

"Since the refusal of the applications to list the building (both statutorily and locally), Rose Cottage has fallen further into disrepair given the length of time it has been vacant."

A previous petition solely against the building's demolition received more than 190 signatures, prompting Abbey Ward councillor Katy Neep to say it showed “a real community will to preserve our history."

The residents association will be holding a meeting to explain why Rose Cottage needs to be saved on Thursday, September 21 at 8.15pm at the SWCA Hall, Victory Road.

It will feature a slide presentation by Wimbledon architectural historian Matthew Hillier.

The petition can be found here.