Planning News: Sutton Council’s Draft Local Plan due for consultation in January

sutton-council-logo-10_jpg_displayFollowing the Sutton 2031 consultation earlier this year the feedback has been reviewed and incorporated into a final draft that will go out for formal consultation this month i.e. in January. 

Please click on the draft local plan link below:

https://www.sutton.gov.uk/draftlocalplan

The Plan seeks to preserve and protect the borough’s character, green spaces and heritage, whilst appropriately responding to the demand to provide much needed extra housing for local residents. It demonstrates the council’s ambition to grow the borough and secure future prosperity, whilst preserving what makes Sutton special. It goes for a medium growth target, and aims to focus development in town and district centres so that the suburban areas are protected. 

In response to the feedback and evidence the plans for new Traveller sites have been dropped and instead the council believes it can meet its duties by expanding the existing site. Although this does encroach onto Greenbelt, it is the only greenbelt take that is proposed in the Plan with other proposals dropped. Metropolitan Open Land and other open spaces are protected with some additional green space protection added. 

Two additional secondary schools are required within the 15 year period of the Plan, one on the Sutton Hospital site and one on the Rosehill Park site. Sadly the Rosehill Park school footprint will reduce some open land available for the community, but having looked very hard, this was the only other site suitable and available for a secondary school. The site will still retain its MOL status to prevent its development for anything other than a school.

There are new policies intended to restrict the proliferation of hot food takeaways, protect pubs and ensure our district centres continue to flourish.

There is a Masterplan to stimulate new business and development in Sutton Town Centre, that has attracted a lot of developer interest and which the council is busy promoting and working on to ensure it delivers. Also forming part of the Local Plan is the London Cancer Hub development framework which seeks to ensure that our world class cancer diagnosis, treatment and drug discovery collaboration between the Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research has the space to maximise its potential and develop a campus worthy of its global acclaim, attracting investment and jobs to the borough.

The Local Plan will be presented at all the local committees between 9th January and 24th February so that residents can find out more, including how to feedback on the plan. The documents will also all be available on the council’s website.

Open House as Sutton heritage buildings open their doors to public

open-house

There are lots of interesting buildings that will be open to the public Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September.

Sutton residents will have the chance to explore some of the borough’s more unusual buildings during Open House London 2016.

The annual event, which takes place on the weekend of 17 and 18 September, will see the doors of heritage buildings in London opened to the public so that they can learn more about their fascinating histories.

Several Sutton Council-owned properties will be taking part in Open House London 2016. These include Carshalton’s Honeywood Museum, Russettings Register Office in central Sutton, and the state-of-the-art Sutton Life Centre on Alcorn Close, off Oldfields Road.

In addition, a number of privatelyowned properties around the borough, including Carshalton House at St Philomena’s School, Sutton Police Station, and the pioneering bedZED eco-village in Hackbridge, will also be open for the public to enjoy.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“The Open House events are a really important way to connect residents with the histories of their local areas. It’s a great chance to explore some buildings that aren’t usually open to the public, and learn more about them and the roles they have played in their communities. We’re really excited that Carshalton House and Sutton Police Station will be taking part in this year’s Open House London events. I encourage everyone to get out and visit at least one of the Open House venues – you won’t regret it.”

A full list of properties that will be open for the public to enjoy in the borough can be found on the Sutton Council website here. You can also find out what’s going on across the capital on the Open House London website here.

Welcome to Carshalton Sign

The Welcome to Carshalton sign was installed recently at the junction of West Street and Pound Street in the heart of Carshalton Village Conservation Area. This is a sign that was sponsored by the council’s Carshalton & Clockhouse local committee. Local committee chair, councillor Hamish Pollock says: “It is good that at long last like The Wrythe and Wallington Green, Carshalton has a “village sign”.”

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Protecting our Carshalton heritage

Like you, we value our local heritage and we want to protect it for generations to come. There are several exciting developments and as your local councillors, we thought you’d like an update.

In 2011 the Council started looking at the future use of buildings in Carshalton. We undertook widespread consultation on possible options for the sensitive use and protection of historic heritage buildings all situated within the Carshalton Village Conservation Area, and the parkland in and around Carshalton Ponds and The Grove Park. In total six thousand local residents were contacted by the Council to ask them for views, and six Carshalton Friends groups were also consulted.

This led to a special meeting of the Carshalton Local Committee in September 2011, attended by over seventy local residents. As residents were clear that they wanted such assets to stay in community hands where possible, they voted for progressing the Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS)proposal for a voluntary sector centre at The Grove House and Ecolocal proposals for use of The Lodge as an ecological centre.

The Lodge.

Ecolocal has submitted final proposals to the Council for a mixed use office/classrooms and residential development at The Lodge, a much loved Victorian building. Ecolocal’s proposals were considered to offer best value and to provide the basis for a sustainable long term use of The Lodge that would provide significant benefits to the community.

The Ecolocal proposal was debated and agreed at a meeting of Full Council on Monday 2nd November at the Civic Offices in Sutton.

The Old Rectory.

The Old Rectory is a Grade 2 Georgian house and is of major historical importance. Carshalton Friends groups have formed a new organisation Carshalton Old Rectory Association (CORA) proposing to convert the building into an Arts Centre with residential flats. This proposal is subject to CORA obtaining funding, and they have been given until March 2016 to find this.

Commitment was given in 2011 that the Council would not sell the Old Rectory, due to its importance locally.

Stonecourt.

Stonecourt, situated at the corner of Grove Park with Mill Lane and North Street, will be sold for residential use either by freehold or on a long lease by private treaty. This will ensure future control over the use of the building, parking restrictions (The Grove Park is car free) and maintain full public access to the park. This matches residents’ wishes as expressed in 2011.

The Grove House.

Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS) in partnership with The Volunteer Centre Sutton and the Friends of the Grove, will be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2016 for a grant to restore the large 1840s house, set up a trust of local people to manage Grove House, record and celebrate a 200 year story of giving from philanthropy to voluntary action, and to deliver heritage skills training and a heritage volunteer programme.

SCVS have recently consulted local people about their plans. Comments can be sent to Your ward councillors have been reporting back on how these proposals have progressed through Focus leaflets, through Carshalton Local Committee and other meetings. We are pleased to say that theproposals are progressing well.

 

 

Old Bakery, 28 High Street, Carshalton

The council’s planning officers have advised us that an application was approved in February 2015 (ref. C2014/70926/FUL) for the demolition of the fire damaged rear annexe and the erection of a single storey rear extension to replace it. No residential units formed part of that approved application.

So far, no pre-application request has been submitted for this site recently, nor has any new planning application been received. The council’s planning officers have heard nothing in respect of any further development at the Village Bakery (28 High Street, Carshalton) since that approval in February.

The Lodge, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton Village

Your local councillors in the heart of Carshalton's Conservation Area

Your local councillors in the heart of Carshalton’s Conservation Area

This is to advise The Lodge consultation is still open until end of February 2015. We’d like to encourage those who haven’t yet done so to complete EcoLocal’s online consultation questionnaire to have a say about the future of The Lodge.

In September 2011 the Council’s Carshalton Local Committee agreed that it would like to see The Lodge (off Honeywood Walk) and The Grove (House) buildings used respectively by Eco-Local and a voluntary sector partnership. Since then both groups have been working up their proposals for taking over these buildings.

Eco-Local has undertaken a feasibility study for The Lodge which includes offices, teaching classroom, communal meeting facilities, residential, storage and workshops. Eco-Local are developing their plans further, including a survey of the building, intending to agree terms and conditions and submit a planning application during the first half of 2015.

Eco Local has just finished consulting local groups on their plans. We understand that over 350 responses were received and 97% were enthusiastic about EcoLocal’s plans for the Lodge. Ecolocal is a well-respected local environmental charity and commands much local support.

Eco Local also gave a presentation on their plans to the January 2015 meeting of the Council’s Carshalton Local Committee, and residents also expressed their continued interest there.

It was therefore surprising to Hamish, Alan and Jill as local councillors that the opposition Conservative councillors attacked the idea of The Lodge being taken over by EcoLocal when asking questions at the meeting of the Full Council on Monday, 19th January 2014. One Conservative councillor suggested that The Lodge should be sold at market rate to realise a profit for the council. This suggestion was roundly rejected at the Carshalton Local Committee held in September 2011 where the clear majority of residents wanted The Lodge to be leased to EcoLocal. The same Conservative councillor also suggested The Lodge should be sold to ease the housing shortage with affordable housing for rent on the site. He clearly did not know that The Lodge was within The Grove Park Management Plan boundaries, that it was in the high profile Carshalton Village Conservation Area and that it was an historic building. This sort of proposal is just not suitable for a green parkland area next to Carshalton Ponds, for a conservation area (where planning is tightly controlled), and would destroy the building’s historic past.

Hamish, Alan and Jill will continue to support EcoLocal’s takeover of The Lodge from the Council on a lease from the Council. This is the same business model being used for the successful bidder for the Charles Cryer Theatre. The Sutton Theatres Trust is taking over the Charles Cryer and Secombe Theatres on a lease from the council, and like EcoLocal will pay rent to the council. The opposition Conservatives have pledged support for the theatres takeover, but it seems not for EcoLocal.

The Lodge – An Update

EcoLocal gave a presentation at the Carshalton Local Committee last week on their progress to retain The Lodge for community use.

As they said: “The Lodge is situated within the grounds of the Ecology Centre at the heart of historic Carshalton. Sutton Council no longer has use for The Lodge and is considering how to dispose of it. The Council has been very supportive and at the meeting last night useful questions were asked, and once again our proposals received positive feedback. You can read about our plans online. We’d like to encourage those who haven’t yet completed our online consultation questionnaire to have a say about the future of The Lodge. The more responses we get the better. And please do share the link with other people you think might be interested. Thank you”.

Update: This is to advise the Lodge consultation is still open until end of February.

Trees in Conservation Areas

A magnificent tree in Ashcombe Court grounds, The Park, Carshalton

A magnificent tree in Ashcombe Court grounds, The Park, Carshalton in the Carshalton Park Conservation Area

Trees in Conservation Areas

It is offence to carry out the following works:

  • Cut down
  • Uproot
  • Top
  • Lop
  • Wilfully damage or
  • Wilfully destroy

to any tree located within a conservation area that measures more than 75 millimetres in diameter when measured 1.5 metres above the ground.

Anyone wishing to carry out works to.such a tree in a Conservation Area must give notice to the Council in writing at least 6 weeks before they wish to carry out the work:

It is an offence to carry out the works unless you have given notice in writing to the Council, and you have either:

  1. Received a decision; or
  2. 6 weeks have expired since you served a valid notice on the Council and you have not received a decision.

Anyone found guilty of this offence is liable, if convicted in a Magistrate’s Court, to a fine up to £20,000.

If the Council does not determine the application within the 6 weeks referred to above the works may automatically proceed providing the works are carried out within 2 years of the notice.

Conservation areas

There are 15 Conservation Areas within the Borough which have been designated because of their special historical, architectural, townscape and landscape qualities.

The Grove, Carshalton

The Grove is a Victorian house set on the edge of the ponds in the centre of Carshalton. It is surrounded by the park which was once the gardens and grounds of the house.

It is generally believed that the house was built at the very start of Queen Victoria’s reign, probably around 1840 although it may be older.

We do know that in 1856 the Reverend A.W.B. Cator took the lease. He was the rector of Carshalton and was to live at The Grove until his death in 1879. It would be Cator who created the Victorian garden around the house, parts of which are still visible today.

The next owner was Sir Samuel Barrow, a wealthy tanner who lived at The Grove until 1923, extending the building and altering the grounds. Sir Samuel was one of many business men who benefitted financially from the First World War but we believe he was also a benefactor, like Cator before him. This photo shows wounded soldiers being entertained at The Grove in 1917.

Wounded soldiers 1917

When Barrow left, the house was put up for auction but failed to reach the reserve price. Carshalton Urban District Council bought it the following year ‘to preserve it as an open space forever’. The mansion became offices and the grounds were opened as a public park. This photo shows The Grove in 1923 just before it was bought by the Council.

Grove 1923

We know very little about the life of the building either as a Victorian and Edwardian family home or as council offices. We do know that the council converted one of the original sitting rooms into a council chamber, the panelling and a board listing the council leaders is still in the building today. We also know that The Grove was used for art and craft exhibitions.

Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS) in partnership with Sutton Volunteer Centre and Sutton Citizen’s Advice Bureau along with the London Borough of Sutton are preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to open the building to the public and voluntary organisations. We need your help to piece together the story of The Grove. Do you have any information about The Grove or the people associated with it? Do you remember working there? Visiting or attending meetings? Did you or one of your relatives exhibit art at The Grove? Do you have photos or papers which feature The Grove?

If you think you can help us, please contact Jane Allen – jane.allen@sutton.gov.uk

Thank you

Photographs reproduced courtesy of Sutton Local Studies and Archives Centre

 

42 West Street – Planning News

Planning permission for the revised planning application for London House, 42 West Street, Carshalton SM5 2PR (C2014/69012 and C2013/69013) was granted at the meeting of the Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, 25th June.  Both residents’ representatives and also Carshalton Central Cllr. Jill Whitehead addressed the committee over their concerns over the shortcomings of the proposals.  The proposals were however granted planning permission.

This application was to convert existing office space to provide three two-bedroom maisonettes and three three-bedroom terraced houses. The changes since the original application included a reduction in size and scale to a new two-storey building with roof accommodation to be built on the site of the existing car parking space at the rear to provide three two–bedroomed maisonettes together with nine car parking spaces.

The plans involve demolition of a building within the curtilage of a Grade 2 listed building, and alterations to the interior and exterior of the listed building. The new bungalow style stand-alone building on the rear car park site, though reduced in height, will be close to properties in Sycamore Close, Beechwood Court and West Street Lane, and also West Lodge in West Street Lane, which was built in 1738 and is one of Carshalton’s most historic buildings. The new building would still come right up to its boundary.

West Street is part of the Carshalton Conservation Area, and any new development in the area would need to respect the Grade 2 listing of the building, and protect existing amenities. The revised plans whilst improved still represent over-development as far as local councillors are concerned, and will not provide much amenity space for the residents in the new homes. As the number of units will still be largely same, this will still cause traffic problems with entrances and exits onto West Street. It is necesary that historic features such as a 17th century boundary wall, which needs to be protected.