A senior Wandsworth councillor has warned that Mayor Sadiq Khan risks “riding roughshod over local democracy and local interests” if he overturns a decision by the council’s planning committee.

In April, the committee rejected controversial plans for a large-scale mixed-use development close to the Wandle Delta in Osiers Road.

But in what the council described as an "unexpected move", the decision has now been “called in” by the mayor, who has informed planners that he will make the decision instead.

Responding the mayor’s decision, Wandsworth’s planning chairman Cllr Guy Humphries said: “This is a bad day for local democracy.”

He added: “Local councillors are elected by local people and are accountable to them. They are perfectly capable of making coherent and informed decisions in the best interests of their local communities.

“Why does the mayor think he knows more about Wandsworth and most importantly more about this particular neighbourhood than the people who actually live there?

Residents were unhappy with the plans which included buildings up to 14 storeys high, providing office space and 168 homes with roof terrace and balconies.

More than 350 objected to the plans during the scheme’s various phases of consultation.

Objections ranged from the scale, size and bulk of the proposed towers, which people complained would be on too small a site, overbearing and excessive. The designs were said to lack architectural merit, be out of keeping with their surroundings and described as “piecemeal and chaotic”, resulting in a significant loss of light, outlook and visual amenity.

Councillors from both parties voted to reject the plans – on the grounds that “the proposed development by reason of its scale, siting, mass, and layout would be an inappropriate and unneighbourly development, resulting in an unduly dominant proposal which would be out of keeping with the surroundings and detrimental to the streetscape, resulting in undue harm to the amenity of neighbouring properties, including a sense of enclosure and a loss of light and outlook.”

Following that decision City Hall’s deputy mayor for planning Jules Pipe wrote to the council to say the Mr Khan had decided to determine the application himself.

That decision had been taken even though he recognised “that Wandsworth Council has taken a positive approach to approving new homes in the borough during the last three years and that the council has exceeded the annualised development plan targets for both housing and affordable housing during this period."

A hearing will now be arranged at City Hall in due course to discuss the application. This meeting will be open to the public.