A prominent eyesore will remain in the heart of North Cheam after a proposal to build a multi-storey block of flats was thrown out by councillors.

More than 1,400 people opposed housing development company Home Group’s plans to build a £28million nine-storey block of flats on the site of Victoria House on the corner of Malden Road and London Road.

The building has been derelict since 2006.

Read more: Victoria House 'eyesore' in North Cheam set to be demolished in £28m redevelopment

Read more: Future of North Cheam eyesore Victoria House thrown into doubt

But although residents acknowledged the structure had become an eyesore they rejected the project and argued people would be forced to leave their cars in Sainsbury’s car park.

They also added the height of the building went against the council’s recommendation of a four to six storey development on the site.

Alan Plant, who represented the signatories, put forward residents’ preferred option during the planning committee meeting at the Civic Offices on Wednesday, April 19.

He said: “People want a four to six storey building built on the Victoria House site in line with the council’s recommendation that is sympathetic to local architecture.

“It should have about 75 flats, 60 parking spaces with public assets on the ground floor as a compromise to rid themselves of the current eyesore. We have to remember the building that we now have has to be demolished soon as it is unsafe and a disgrace.

“What goes in its place may be there for 100 years, a bad or wrong decision could affect the residents of North Cheam for the next four generations. It is therefore important for the planning committee to make the right decision this evening.”

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An artist's impression of the redevelopment (submitted in December 2016)

Had the development gone ahead, 88 flats compromising thirteen one and two bedroom homes and 75 private one to three bedroom apartments would be built on the site.

The plans also outlined there would be 50 car parking spaces and 150 cycle spaces.

Home Group agent Paul Rogers who defended the proposal said: “The site occupies a prominent and significant position, but it has been derelict since 2006 and it is deteriorating into an eyesore and become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

“The council’s draft local plan sets out a need for 635 homes in North Cheam by 2031, so this site has the potential to make a real contribution to meeting that target.” But councillors dismissed the applicant’s the argument and criticised its decision to ignore the council’s suggestions.

Nonsuch councillor Richard Broadbent said: “The views expressed are overwhelmingly against this proposal. In the plan it was stated that any development on this site should pay particular regard to the location within an area of taller building potential, which is defined as a building that is four to six storeys.

“The plans exceed this and go up to nine storeys, it was also noted that the building was not of exceptional design that would have allowed the building to be higher. It should also be noted that a tall buildings study several years ago concluded that Cheam district centre could not support buildings above six storeys.

“Turning to car parking, the council document advises that planning permission should not be granted to any development that is likely to increase on-street parking where it would adversely affect traffic flows.”