Published Friday, 19th February 2021
Sutton Scene column from Councillor Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader of the Council
In the last ten years, 4,700 new homes have been built in Sutton. This includes developments along Sutton Court Road, next to Sutton Railway Station, and on the old Sutton Gas Holder site; on the Wandle Trading Estate and on the old Felnex site in Hackbridge; and new homes built on brownfield sites in Wallington, North Cheam, Belmont and Carshalton.
We are very proud that this figure includes new-build council housing, with more sites for new council homes in the pipeline.
We have also seen new business developments, from industrial units for global business Zotefoams in Beddington, to new laboratories at the London Cancer Hub, an expanded HQ for Subsea 7 and new shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and retail outlets across the borough.
There have been increasing numbers of new business start-ups – over 1,400 in 2019 – with very healthy survival rates. All this increases the employment opportunities for our residents, and support from our proactive borough training providers and colleges helps our residents gain the skills to access those jobs.
The Council provides 800 different services to its residents and businesses on a day-to-day basis. But the Council is also ambitious to ensure there is sufficient housing to meet local demand and to increase the number of jobs within the borough. We have been working towards these goals for some years and the increased development activity, particularly in our town centres, cannot be missed.
Planning permission has been granted for further developments across the borough, accompanied by our demands for good-quality design and the preservation and enhancement of local heritage features.
The redevelopment of the Grapes Pub in Sutton Town Centre will be a great example of a sensitive adaption of a heritage building, both maintaining a commercial offer in the high street and delivering much-needed new homes.
The current plans for the old Victoria House site in North Cheam look set to replace a crumbling eyesore with a modern take on an art deco theme. It will provide both new housing and a boost to the local economy at this strategic junction, thanks to the developers working with local residents and the Council.
The recent Future High Streets Funding award means the Council can invest directly in Sutton Town Centre properties to help deliver a diverse, community-focused offer incorporating live entertainment, arts and culture to ensure our main high street adapts to the post-Covid world.
Residents are rightly proud of our borough’s heritage and so we are delighted that Sutton Town Centre was uniquely recognised as a Heritage Action Zone and its Conservation Area extended. New character appraisals have been produced for Conservation Areas at Beddington Park and Beddington Village, Carshalton Village, Wrythe Green and Cheam Village, as well as a newly designated Area of Special Local Character – Sutton Farm Estate – to protect the unique character of our borough.
As the current custodians of the borough, we believe that as well as delivering the day-to-day services residents rely on, like waste collection, school places, care and support for our older and disabled residents, libraries and leisure centres and parks, it is also important that we look to the future.
The Council must work so the borough can support our increasing population and its needs, with homes, jobs, schools and health services, whilst also preserving and improving the heritage and the environment that our residents hold so dear in Sutton.
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