Campaigners have slammed a developer’s plans to demolish the old Cap in Hand pub by the Ace of Spades roundabout to build flats.

Members of the Kingston and Leatherhead branch of Camra, which works to promote the role of pubs in society, are preparing to submit an official objection to the proposals.

Pub protection co-ordinator Chris Miller said the application “makes no justification” for changing the site to remove the pub and replace it with housing.

He added: “The Cap in Hand was a thriving Public house meeting a wide range of social needs, when operated by the JD Wetherspoon group, and it still could be.

“We believe that pubs further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community, especially as more people are suffering health problems, for example, through loneliness. The loss of a pub such as the Cap in Hand can only harm the community.”

The applicant, Isle of Man-based Mendoza Ltd, wrote in a planning statement that the pub’s location by the busy A3 worked at a time when people drove to pubs.

They wrote: “The failure of the business reflects a change in social attitudes and exposes the development problems that the site exhibits.”

The Cap in Hand was sold by JD Wetherspoon in September 2015, and closed in early 2016.

Plans include 38 homes, all classed as “affordable”, in a terraced row of houses and flats in buildings up to seven storeys high, as well as a shop on the ground floor of one block.

Camra tried twice to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value, which they hoped would deter developers, but Kingston Council refused both times.

The application has now been validated, meaning residents can offer comments until May 25.

A target date for the decision has been set for July 20.