A planning application to turn a large commercial building in West Watford into 43 new homes has been branded a "travesty" by community groups and residents.

The current proposals for Rembrandt House, in Whippendell Road, have prompted a dozen objections since the application was lodged last month.

Approval was previously granted for more than 100 new homes to be built on land to the north of the building.

Residents have objected to the plans claiming West Watford does not have the parking, school places or infrastructure to absorb the development.

Paul Budden, who is involved with Kodokan Kendo Club based at Rembrandt House, said turning the building into housing would be a "travesty for the local community".

He said: "We are a local community group, which will be directly affected by proposed development of Rembrandt House to turn it into yet more residential units from commercial use in an already over saturated area.

"We understand from emails we have received that the developers have opted for a full planning application as it offers more scope for development, but that if this fails then they can still develop under the current Government legislation."

Mr Budden said the developers had not tried hard enough to let the building as commercial units.

Ms J Tandy, whose son is a member of the club, has objected saying the development would affect the group’s training in the lower ground floor of the building.

She said: "If the application goes ahead it will affect their meetings. The noise of the building work and the eventual properties will make it very hard for them to train properly, as well as the fact that they will lose the public toilets - which they need as they train for two hours every session.

"Kendo is an important part of my son’s life, teaching him discipline and important life skills. They have a purpose-built dojo and training room and if the plans are approved they may not be able to carry on using the premises, which will be detrimental to all who attend kendo - not just the juniors on a Saturday, but all of the members."

The planning application for Rembrandt House proposes change of use of ground, first and second floors of the mixed use commercial building to provide 43 residential units.

The commercial units on the lower ground floor are set to be retained.

Other objections to the plans suggested the commercial value of the building and the potential to create more jobs in Watford was needed more than housing, which could not be supported by West Watford roads or amenities.

Daniel Evans said: "West Watford is already very overcrowded. It is unbelievable that the council are looking to turn this into a residential area.

"There simply is not the infrastructure for this scale of development. This area has already been highly developed with new residences just over the road. Whippendell Road is already gridlocked regularly and this development would just make it worse, not to mention car parking issues.

"In addition to this I do not feel there is enough capacity in this area for schools, doctors and other basic amenities.

"It would be far more beneficial to keep this as a commercial area and try to generate jobs for the occupants of West Watford, which I feel are more needed than extra housing."

The application is currently pending consideration by the council, it will be determined by May 21.