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:

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.

Top Trading Standards tips to ensure a very merry Christmas

A view of Sutton High Street.

Support your local high street this festive season – but make sure you know your rights as a consumer!

With the winter holidays upon us, Trading Standards have put together some seasonal top tips to help ensure that it will be a truly happy Christmas all round:

1. By law, all goods must be of satisfactory quality, as they were described and fit for their intended purpose.  If not, provided you act quickly, you have the right to your money back or to ask for a replacement or a repair.

2. Remember that it is usually the purchaser of goods – and not the person who receives them as a gift – who has consumer rights if they turn out to be faulty.  However, shops may agree to sign over these rights to the person receiving the gift – ask the shop if they will give a ‘gift receipt’.

3. Check goods to make sure they work properly and are not damaged before you wrap them.  Keep packaging, instructions for use and any other information until you know that everything is all right.

4. Hang on to your receipts.  Traders are entitled to ask for some proof of purchase if you return faulty goods and it can make life a lot easier if you can prove when and where you bought them and how much you paid.

5. Your rights are the same wherever you buy goods – from a high street shop, a market trader, a street trader with a suitcase or from a temporary bargain shop.  However, your chances of returning goods diminish if there’s a possibility that traders may not be around after Christmas.

6. Goods bought in a sale should perform the same as if they were priced normally.  Your rights are the same unless defects are brought to your attention before you buy or should have been obvious if you’d examined the goods.

7. Buy the right size and colour.  If there’s nothing wrong with the item and you simply made a mistake or changed your mind, then you have NO legal rights.  Some retailers do have goodwill policies allowing these returns, so ask before you buy and get them to write the details on the receipt.

8. Consider buying goods costing over £100 with a credit card – you may get extra protection from the card issuer.

9. Don’t make any spur-of-the-moment decisions to buy on credit.  Compare APRs, consider the total cost involved and how long you’ll have to pay – you don’t want to still be paying for this year’s gifts next Christmas.

10. Watch out for fake goods.  Be suspicious of cheap discs and tapes or designer clothes and perfumes.  Your loved one won’t thank you if their gift smells more like Canal No. 5 or if that DVD turns out to be a DUD!

If you need civil advice on how to deal with a complaint or enquiry, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.

You can also use the internet to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. Please visit where a wide range of consumer information and advice is available.

Sutton Council invites organisations to submit offers to rent borough theatres


The Secombe Theatre

Sutton Council is inviting local organisations that have expressed an interest in renting the Secombe and Charles Cryer theatres to submit formal offers.

The request follows the recent  financial collapse of Sutton Theatres Trust, the private company that took over the running of both theatres last year.

A Sutton Council spokesperson said:

“Sutton Theatres Trust collapsed in August and the Secombe and Charles Cryer theatres have now been returned to Sutton Council. The council has no intention of running these theatres itself, nor, given the financial constraints under which the council is working, can it afford to subsidise their operation.

“Following the demise of Sutton Theatres Trust the council has been contacted by a few organisations who have expressed an interest in using the buildings. The council consequently wishes to establish the viability of these proposals by formally inviting offers from those interested in the buildings.

“All those who have already contacted Sutton Council will be invited to submit rental offers, setting out details of what they wish to use the buildings for and the level of rent they are able to pay. Additionally, the council will advertise the availability these buildings in the local press.

“We plan to complete this process by the end of November and will be looking place the advertisement within the next two weeks. We will be sending out brief property particulars to all those who respond to the advertisement and to those who have already contacted the council.”

Enjoy golden memories of Sutton on the silver screen

On Thursday 18th August Sutton residents have a unique opportunity to enjoy seeing rare archive footage and home movies of the borough from the last century.

A Sutton Street Party from times past

A Sutton Street Party from times past

Inspired by the travelling cinemas that used to rove the country during the 1920s, the Film London KinoVan will be on Sutton High Street from 4.30pm until 6.30pm showing the films, many of which have not been seen for decades.

On the same afternoon passers-by will also have the opportunity to share their Stories of Sutton with us as we preview plans for an art & light installation for the alley between Princess Alice hospice and H&T Pawnbrokers.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

“The Film London KinoVan will give Sutton residents a fascinating insight into the history of the borough as we unveil exciting plans for the future. The outdoor cinema showing is just one of the events we’re holding at the northern end of the High Street that will introduce our Market Place Sutton vision.”

Film London aim to sustain, promote and develop London as a production hub and encourage the development of emerging filmmaking talent. It is funded by the Mayor of London and the National Lottery through the BFI, and also receives support Arts Council England, Creative Skillset and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In addition to the outdoor cinema event Sutton High Street will also play host to a Crafternoon arts & crafts session and Pop-up book exchange in September, and DJ workshops in October. You can find out more about these events and the Market Place Sutton vision on the Sutton Council website here.

Sutton Council agrees new Masterplan for redevelopment of Town Centre

Sutton Council has agreed a vision for the future of Sutton Town Centre and a 15-year Masterplan to help make the vision a reality that includes redeveloping the Civic Centre area and transforming the gyratory system around the High Street.

The Masterplan will ensure that in these economically uncertain times the Town Centre continues to attract new business to invest in the centre and to provide shopping, services and local employment opportunities.

The Town Centre Masterplan follows an extensive eight-week consultation earlier this year that resulted in nearly 800 comments from local residents and businesses.

The vision will ensure that by 2031 Sutton Town Centre will  be celebrated for its range of independent retailers, a vibrant and bustling range of arts, cultural and entertainment activities for people of all generations, diverse food and dining, and will stand out because of its strong local heritage.

In order to deliver this vision the Masterplan makes a commitment that Sutton Council will:

  • Explore the redevelopment of the Civic Centre area to create new spaces for arts, culture and entertainment activities in the town centre as well as providing much-needed new homes.
  • Work with the owners of the St Nicholas Shopping Centre to create new activity along St Nicholas Way, with shops, leisure and dining venues near the existing cinema;
  • Work to help deliver new employment development at or above Sutton railway station to strengthen the existing focus for employment in Sutton, support existing local employers and boost the number of jobs in the town centre;
  • Transform the gyratory road around the town centre on St Nicholas Way and Throwley Way into an urban boulevard lined with street trees and ensure that all new development facing onto it is of exceptionally high quality;
  • Work with grant funders to secure a range of High Street projects to strengthen the centre of Sutton and improve the image of the town centre; and
  • Work with Historic England and landowners on a plan to enhance the historic core of the Town Centre.

Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council, said:

“Sutton Town Centre is the lifeblood of our borough. We must support it to grow and provide more jobs and opportunities for our residents through major plans including the redevelopment of the Civic Centre area and the transformation of the gyratory into an urban boulevard. These will help us to create a distinctive Sutton and I want to thank everyone who took part in the consultation as they have helped to create the future of Sutton Town Centre.”

The Sutton Town Centre Masterplan covers the town centre area and complements the council’s Local Plan, which sets out a Vision for the whole of the borough. The Local Plan is currently being reviewed as part of Sutton Council’s wider vision for the whole of the borough in 2031-32 and is being prepared in the context of Sutton being a One Planet Borough with a proud identity as a green and environmentally-sustainable borough.

The Local Plan, which has detailed planning policies to help judge planning applications for new developments including those in the town centre, will be subject to a follow-up consultation in the autumn.

Bilfinger GVA (BGVA), one of the largest planning, development and regeneration advisers in the UK and Ireland, led the consortium that created the ambitious masterplan, which included Architecture 00, Urban Engineering Studio, and Allies and Morrison.

Jerry Freeman, Senior Director of Development at BGVA, said:

“The Sutton Town Centre Masterplan sets a strong, deliverable vision for the future of the Town Centre, with a clear direction for development and investment going forward to 2031. This provides the evidence and guidance to strengthen the competitive position of Sutton Town Centre as a key metropolitan centre in outer London. The Masterplan supports the council’s requirements and aspirations for the Town Centre. The council is now investigating ways to facilitate the Masterplan proposals through the use of its assets and its wider influence on development.”

The Town Centre Masterplan follows on from the Greater London Authority’s granting of Housing Zone status for Sutton Council’s Sutton One Housing Zone, which has identified 12 key sites for residential development in Sutton Town Centre and Hackbridge. The council has also set up a development company and investment vehicle to encourage businesses to invest in the borough.

Litter lout? Watch out – Enforcement Officers about!

Sutton logo big full colour

Sutton Council Environmental Enforcement Officers will be able to issue on the spot Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for a range of littering offences starting from Monday 11 July 2016.

The Enforcement Officers will focus on particularly busy areas such as Sutton High Street and other district centres. They will be able to issue FPNs for offences including dropping litter, fly-tipping, and failing to clean up dog mess. In 2015, Sutton Council’s cleaning teams picked up 1,267 tonnes of litter, and dealt with 1,390 separate fly-tipping incidents and 323 dog-fouling incidents. The total cost of all street cleaning services was £3,138,100. Working together we can bring these costs down, which will give us the opportunity to invest in vital frontline services for the benefit of borough residents.

Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council, said:

“Nearly 20 per cent of Sutton residents answered ‘clean streets’ as the most important issue in making somewhere a good place to live. Our environmental enforcement officers will be highly visible as they patrol the borough to help combat litter at its source.”

The full details about the new FPNs can be found on the Sutton Council website here. Discounts are available for early payment of some Penalty Notices. The Environmental Enforcement Officers will be easy to recognise as they will be in uniform and patrol in pairs.  The service will operate each day of the week, including some evenings and weekends.

Sutton 2031 – Your chance to plan our future

artists' impression, tramlink, Sutton 2031

An artist’s impression of the Tramlink extension.

Sutton Council has launched a major consultation into the development and growth of the borough over the next 15 years.

Sutton 2031 asks people to help shape a new Local Plan, the document that provides the planning framework for future development.

Between 18 February and 8 April, local people are encouraged to give their views online or to attend any of the 22 exhibitions and meetings to discuss the Local Plan with our planners. To find out details or take part in the consultation they should visit

Why is Sutton 2031 important?

The Greater London Authority predicts Sutton’s population could rise by 31,272 to 228,521 by 2031. To meet that challenge Sutton must provide new housing, and the infrastructure to support it, including additional schools, employment, improved transport and more health facilities.

The Local Plan designates the location and size of these developments, and also the pace of growth. The amount of people working and living in the borough will determine the amount of infrastructure needed to support them.

For example, the Greater London Authority forecasts Sutton will need 7,000 more jobs by 2031. If they were all office jobs, the borough would need to find the space of around nine football pitches to accommodate them. By being proactive in planning for future growth the Local Plan can help retain the borough’s character and environment by protecting Sutton’s heritage and green spaces, and helping to cut pollution.

The consultation also includes the Town Centre Masterplan and London Cancer Hub Development Framework. Masterplanners are currently working on both of these projects and Sutton 2031 will give people the chance to review and comment on their draft proposals. Their views will be taken into account as part of the design process.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee, said:

“The London housing crisis is already putting Sutton under pressure so now is the right time to decide what the future of our borough should look like. Together, we need to ensure that growth works without losing Sutton’s essential character. We understand people love the suburban nature of our borough, the tree-lined streets, quality parks and open spaces. They also value our heritage, our district centres and high streets whilst seeing plenty of room for improvement in Sutton town centre. We have arranged our widest ever programme of consultation asking residents to help us determine the right places to concentrate growth, and achieve a quality of place that enhances all that is good about the borough. The message to our residents, businesses, developers, landlords and our young people is to get involved, and get everyone you know to get involved. What is in Sutton 2031 will affect you, and it will certainly affect your children. This is your opportunity to shape the future of our borough.”

Developments for work, leisure, and living.

The development will bring retail, residential, and leisure opportunities to the area.

 Town Centre Masterplan

The Town Centre Masterplan is to help improve Sutton Town Centre so that is it fit for the future. As our main commercial district and the fourth largest centre in south London, its future success is critical to the borough. It must provide high quality services in a high quality setting, while also evolving the retail and leisure offer, increasing employment opportunities, providing new homes and generating revenue for local services.

The London Cancer Hub

The London Cancer Hub is a proposal to expand the operations of the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Foundation NHS Trust onto brownfield land in Belmont. It aims to bring together 10,000 scientists, clinical and support staff in a world leading Hub for cancer research, treatment, education and enterprise. Sutton Council has purchased part of the site for a secondary school with a planned specialism in the sciences to help our young people to start careers in this exciting sector.

A Sutton Christmas…..

Your Christmas presence requested…

Michelle Heaton,. Liberty X, Sutton Christmas lights, Christmas market
Michelle Heaton of Liberty X is the special guest at this year’s Christmas light switch-on ceremony.

Pop singer Michelle Heaton of Liberty X and Mayor Muhammad Sadiq will switch Sutton’s Christmas lights on at a ceremony in the town centre on Saturday 14 November.

There will be an exciting range of events throughout the day to appeal to all the family which will culminate in the lights being switched on at 6pm and the High Street will become a winter wonderland for the duration of the festive period, with the support and funding of Successful Sutton, Sutton’s Business Improvement District.

As the day gets off to a start at 10am the EcoLocal Christmas Market will provide shoppers the chance to browse a range of special seasonal treats and sweets – the perfect place to pick up some stocking fillers.

Events get into full swing at midday as two stages open. The Main Stage and the TazZa Coffee Shop Community Stage will host performances throughout the day from a wide variety of local musicians, actors and artists providing entertainment for the whole family.

Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re very excited about this day of festive fun which will get the season off to a colourful, vibrant start. We can’t wait to enjoy the musical performances as we browse the Christmas Market – and even enjoy a mince pie or two, I’m sure!”

Little ones will be able to enjoy the thrill of face-painting and visiting a Very Important Person in the Grotto – we don’t want to give the game away, but our guest will be travelling from the North Pole to make this appointment. Look out for the jolly red fellow among the various elves, stilt walkers and fairies who will be visiting Sutton High Street for this very special occasion.

Ross Feeney, Chief Executive of Successful Sutton, said:

“We are pulling out all the stops to ensure Sutton’s festive season starts with a bang. Come and join the festivities, do a spot of early Christmas shopping and make the most of Sutton’s great shops, restaurants and bars.”

Sutton High Street News

The Mosaic in Trinity Square, Sutton High Street

The Mosaic in Trinity Square, Sutton High Street

Sutton shoppers have Social Saturday surprises in store. Sutton High Street will become a social enterprise hub this Saturday, 10 October, to mark Social Saturday

Shoppers will have the chance to buy from a range of local businesses given a platform to promote, sell and launch their products. Social enterprises in Sutton include the Sutton Community Farm, the Vine Project, and Sutton Voice.

Local organisations including Sutton Council, Successful Sutton, and Social Enterprise Sutton have given their support to the event which hopes to attract people from across the borough and south-west London.

Cllr Simon Wales, Deputy Leader of the Council and social enterprise champion, said:

“Social Saturday is superb chance for residents of the borough to enjoy shopping from local social enterprises and to find great new retailers to support in their local area. We’re really looking forward to seeing a busy high street on Saturday and urge everyone who can make it to come along and help support local social enterprises.”

Social enterprises have a mission to reinvest or donate their profits to create a positive social impact. They may create opportunities for people marginalised from the job market, support development projects around the world, or strengthen local economies.

The annual Social Saturday event is a national celebration of social enterprises. 2015’s event aims to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event The government estimates there are more than 180,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing more than 2m people and contributing billions to the economy each year.

Amanda Edge, Chair of Social Enterprise Sutton, said:

“Social enterprises are extremely valuable for the national economy and for the planet as a whole.  They provide jobs and are environmentally sustainable – it’s really important that shoppers support them in the Sutton area and help them to thrive. Sutton is one of only two Social Enterprise Places in London and we’re really happy that shoppers and organisations are working together for a better borough.”

Public invited to help shape Sutton Town Centre’s northern gateway

Sutton Council is asking people to have their say on changes to the northern gateway of Sutton Town Centre after it secured a £500,000 grant to improve the area.

The money from the New Homes Bonus Scheme of the Central Government is to be spent on improving the look and feel of the gateway to the northern end of the pedestrianised High Street between Marshall’s Road and Benhill Avenue and around the Asda store.  Public consultations are to take place next month. Residents, visitors and businesses are invited to Sutton Council public consultation events on Wednesday 9 September between 12 noon and 2pm and from 4pm to 6pm, and on Saturday 12 September between 10am and 5pm. The consultations will be held opposite the Asda superstore at 229 Sutton High Street. This is the first opportunity for people to have their say on how best to spend the grant funding and regenerate the area, whether by improving seating and planting in the area, upgrading shopfronts and/or activating vacant units.

 sutton_council_logoCouncillor Marlene Heron, Chair of Sutton Local Committee, said:

“We want to create a thriving town centre and the northern gateway is crucial in welcoming people to our main shopping district. It is fantastic that the council has secured £500,000 of funding and we want to work with residents and traders to make improvements that will boost footfall. That way we can reduce the amount of shop vacancies, improve the look of the area and attract new customers. The Northern Gateway is one of a number of projects Sutton Council is involved with in order to boost the town centre helping to secure the town’s status as an important sub-regional destination for shopping and leisure. Other projects include the redevelopment of the former gasworks site on the edge of the northern gateway, the establishment of an “entrepreneur’s market” in the High Street to support new entrepreneurs and start-up businesses by providing them with support and advice, and the Sutton Town Centre Masterplan which will provide an overall vision for the future of the area.