Latchmere House open prison could become a listed building if calls to protect it as a site of special historical interest are answered.

Richmond Council was asked to apply for the Church Road prison’s main Victorian house to be considered for listed status to protect it from redevelopment when it closes its gates for good at the end of September.

Sir David Williams, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside ward, called for the action.

He said: “This house should be listed without delay on historical and architectural grounds. There will be a huge outcry if this important bit of our national history is lost.”

The council confirmed they had applied for listed status in 2008 but English Heritage had believed the building was altered too significantly.

Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond’s cabinet member for environment, added: “It’s unlikely another bid from the council would change English Heritage’s position, but it’s possible for anyone to apply for a building to be listed.

“If any individual councillor or amenity group were to make a fresh bid it could make a difference.”

Coun Morris confirmed a request to develop a planning brief for the site had been received and officers would consider if it was appropriate for the area.

Latchmere House was built more than a 150 years ago as a private house before becoming a military hospital for officers during World War I, a centre for spy interrogation in World War II, and a prison in 1948.

Despite last year’s plans to expand the facility the government announced in July that Latchmere would close and could be sold off for housing.