A petition to save one of south Wimbledon's oldest buildings from demolition has been signed by more than 600 people.

A campaign was launched two weeks ago after developers lodged an application to build nine homes on the site currently occupied by Rose Cottage in Hamilton Road.

Within days, hundreds of people had signed the petition to stop the Georgian villa being knocked down.

Battles Area Residents Association vice chair Philip Whiteside said: "The number of people who signed the petition in its first few days shows how keen people in Merton are to preserve our heritage.

"From the comments I have read, many, like me, feel that it is very sad that this developer cannot see the value in saving a building like Rose Cottage which been part of the community for generations.

"We now need people to tell Merton council's planning department why they think this application should be rejected.

"We accept that housing is needed, but this proposed development will not only knock down a historic building, it will replace it with an inappropriate number of dwellings for the site."

Rose Cottage is the oldest building in the Battles housing area and dates from when Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton's Merton Place estate was broken up and sold off.

A previous planning application which would have provided six dwellings on the site and had a condition attached that would have ensured the retention and restoration of Rose Cottage, was approved in February 2016.

The latest application is for nine dwellings, eight of which are in four-storey terrace houses, split into duplexes, with a further two-storey house to the rear.

Submissions to Merton's planning department should be made by 30 September.

A formal request has been made for the application to be determined by the planning committee, rather than under delegated powers.

The petition can be found here.