Wandsworth Council's opposition leader believes the closure of Wandsworth County Court will "damage local access to justice" amid Government cost-cutting plans in the judicial system.

Justice Secretary David Gauke confirmed the court, in Upper Richmond Road, will be axed as cash raised will be “reinvested into the justice system”.

It joins several magistrates’ across England – in Banbury, Chorley, Fleetwood, Maidenhead, and Northallerton – which have closed, with the potential for them to be sold off for redevelopment.

Cllr Simon Hogg, Wandsworth Council’s opposition leader, said: “This move will damage local access to justice.

“Thanks to Tory cuts there will be only three courts left south of the river.

“It’s not fair to expect victims and witnesses to take on the increased travel time and cost.”

Blackfriars Crown Court will also go and Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was earmarked for closure as well but those plans were soon scrapped.

The decision to consult was "finely balanced" while the building remains open following a strong stance against its closure.

Mr Gauke added the Government “must ensure” public money must be used effectively while decisions are made “in the best interest of the wider justice system”.

Other near county courts are Kingston County Court, as well as Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court and Family Court in east central London.

Wandsworth Guardian has approached Cllr Ravi Govindia, Wandsworth Council's leader, for comment.

Just over 40 percent of court and tribunal buildings were used for less than half of their available time, according to the Government.

This, alongside an estate which was inherited before the HM Courts and Tribunal Service was launched, means "there is some excess courts capacity".

Some of them are said to either be in poor condition or within close proximity to another court.