Nearly 400 people have signed a petition to stop Wandsworth Council demolishing an 'outstanding' rated Nursery to build flats and a new library.

A consultation was launched in January to build a new library, community hall and apartments in Northcote Road, Battersea, where Alphabet Nursery School is located.

The new buildings would be built on land occupied by council-owned garages at Staplehurst Court and Chatham Hall.

The nursery, located in Chatham Hall, has served the community for 27 years, with a "rare" outside area for children to play in which it would lose if the plans go ahead.

Allison McKenzie-Lewis, head teacher at Alphabet Nursery since 1990, said she is "pretty devastated" about the proposals.

She said the council has been "underhanded" in the way it has dealt with the situation, not informing staff at the nursery about the upcoming proposals and letting parents know via fliers when a council officer specifically told Allison not to warn parents yet.

The officer also told her she would be invited to the first drop-in session, which she missed because the invite never arrived.

Allison, who is also concerned as only a portion of parents received the fliers, said: "We have been paying rent to the council for the last 27 years and no consideration has been given to us at all."

Issues brought up in the petition, signed by 376 at the time of writing, include the impact increased residents would have on an already "over-populated" area, such as putting pressure on local amenities, light lost by a residents due to apartment blocks and the impact of construction work on air and noise pollution.

Other concerns include traffic congestion, road safety with construction vehicles driving around and the lack of need for a new library.

If the plans go ahead, parents who have booked places for their children next year may have to find somewhere else at short notice.

The school serves around 60 children and has a rare Ofsted rating of outstanding.

A council spokesman said: "We are asking for people’s views on plans for a new Northcote library and replacement community hall, which would be available to the nursery and provide an updated, modern building better suited to meeting the needs of the children.

"If the plans proceed the current library would remain open until the new one is ready, while the costs would be met via the sale of residential units allowing the new facilities to be delivered without costing local taxpayers a penny."

Community services spokesman Councillor Jonathan Cook added: "This is the very early stages of a public consultation. Nothing at all has been decided yet and nothing is set in stone.

"We have arranged drop-in sessions at the library over the coming days so that residents can find out more about these proposals and tell us what they think.

"Our aim is to provide an upgraded community hall and a brand-new library with a much greater range of services than is currently possible in the existing building.

"At a time when many councils are closing libraries and curtailing services we are looking to expand and improve our provision to give our residents a bigger and better library that’s fit for the 21st century."

To sign the petition go here