Over recent days, opponents of a plan to develop land near the celebrated and historic Hampton Court Palace have been asking local residents and commuters to support their campaign.

Backers of the scheme have also been rallying passengers and the public by handing out leaflets outside Hampton Court station as the debate begins to get more heated.

The land sits across the River Thames from the royal palace – whose notable inhabitants include Henry VIII and King George II. The plan details a new public square, 97 new homes, an 84 bed hotel, an upgraded train station, a café and a small food vendor.

Robert Lane from the developers, Alexpo, said: “It’s taken us since 2014 to talk with the Palace, Network Rail and local groups and local people and come up with a scheme that we hope will get majority support.”

But critics feel strongly that the scale of the proposed development is far too big and will spoil a sought after area so close to Hampton Court, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and that it won't bring any lasting benefits to local people. So this week they have been out imploring commuters to join their fight.

A spokesperson for Hampton Court Rescue Campaign, which contests the development, said: "The congestion, lack of parking and the increased height of Alexpo's current proposals remain very important concerns."

Elmbridge Council is asking for views on the proposed development this month before making a decision on whether it can go ahead.

Patrick Helm