Plans to replace a pub and office building in New Malden with a 328-bed student accomodation block have been rejected by councillors.

An application to covert the Duke of Wellington pub and next door offices in Kingston Road into a four and six storey building were refused by the development control committee last night (Thursday).

The committee also deferred a decision on plans to demolish offices in Kingsgate Road, Kingston, and build shops, offices, and beds for 210 students.

But an application by King's Oak Primary School in New Malden to build two six-classroom blocks and a new school hall was approved.

Councillor Vicky Harris, development control committee chairman, said of the Duke of Wellington application:"The application was for a huge student accommodation block.

"It was down for refusal anyway, but only because at one point the wall of the new building is only six metres away from bedroom windows in Crown House [next to the site].

"I added another reason to refuse which was loss of a community facility in the Duke of Wellington."

Coun Harris said the committee wanted to go on a site visit to Kingsgate Road - which forms part of the north Kingston redevelopment brief - before making a decision.

She said: "It's quite a complex site and we're all aware there's a development brief for that area.

"We understood where the applicants were coming from, but we felt it was still too premature even to grant outline permission."

King's Oak, in Dickerage Lane, was granted permission to build its new blocks and school hall despite Liberal Democrat concerns about loss of play space, Coun Harris said.

She said: "We were concerned about the amount of play space that would be left, but the Tories argued we need the extra school places.

"It seems the school have done their bit to try and mitigate the loss of space so in the end we approved it."