Politicians and residents have blasted a developer for announcing it wants to increase the number of homes planned for the Toby Jug site in Tolworth.

Meyer Bergman, which bought the land from Tesco a year ago, announced this week that it will apply to build even more than 705 homes on the site – the amount previously rejected by Kingston Council.

Opponents fear that London Mayor Sadiq Khan will overrule a rejection this time around if the application meets his criteria for affordable housing.

City Hall has the power to ‘call in’ applications if they are considered to be of “potential strategic importance” to London.

A Meyer Bergman flyer circulated to residents said: “Meyer Homes remains committed to delivering significant investment in this site.

“We have therefore been looking to develop proposals which reflect the aspirations of the Greater London Authority to see this site deliver a greater number of new homes to the area than previously proposed.

“This includes an increase in the amount and proportion of affordable homes, meeting one of the new London Mayor’s most important manifesto commitments.”

The Mayor’s office declined to comment.

In July, councillors rejected an outline application to build 705 homes for being too dense, and because of its potential adverse effects on traffic.

Tesco had tried to build on the site for more than a decade, but was met by fierce protests from residents.

Ex-Tolworth councillor Vicki Harris, now chairman of the Hook Rise Residents’ Association, said she was “pretty certain” the plans would be passed following City Hall approval.

She said: “It just makes a mockery of the whole point of local democracy. I don’t know how many applications have to be submitted to get rejected and then they think they can come along with a bigger scheme. It will absolutely kill Tolworth. You won’t be able to move for traffic.”

Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry said: “A development of this scale would require major and long overdue traffic improvements around Tolworth roundabout, which Transport for London is yet to commit to.

“Unbelievably, the developers have now come back with a plan for even more units and the suggestion is that City Hall is supportive.

“I’m writing to the Mayor of London to seek urgent clarification as housing at this density would breach his own guidance.”

Alexandra councillor Richard Hudson said: “It’s clearly outside policy in terms of density. I have a clear suspicion that this is being pushed along by the Greater London Authority.

“Sadiq Khan has been on TV saying we are going to build more homes as well. I don’t think Meyer Bergman would have been silly enough to come back with that one on policy grounds.”

Four major construction projects are planned or ongoing within a small radius in Tolworth: the Tolworth Tower regeneration, a new Holiday Inn near the train station and Lidl’s UK headquarters, as well as Meyer Bergman’s proposal.

Residents can view details of the proposals at a public exhibition at St George’s Church, in Hamilton Avenue, on Saturday, October 15 from 10am to 4pm.