Sutton Civic Society – virtual meeting 27 January 2021 7.30-9.00pm

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Happy new year to you all! Still not quite business as usual, so the meeting will be held as a video-conference via Microsoft Teams, using the links above. There is an alternative dial-in by telephone conference number, also above.

Agenda:

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Approval of minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
  3. Recent proposals for the town centre
  4. Sutton Green Fayre – 18 July 2021
  5. LTNs and Sustainable Transport Strategy
  6. Budget and finances
  7. AOB
  8. Further General Meeting Dates for 2021: 24 March 2021 (AGM), 26 May 2021, 28 July 2021, 29 September 2021, 24 November 2021  

News

A quick update on what’s happening with the Society and in the local area:

  • CHAIR STANDING DOWN: Our esteemed chair, Professor (Emeritus) Clive Orton, will be standing down at the AGM on 24 March 2021. He has played a vital and important role in the Society’s 3 year history and its predecessor society, has been tremendously influential in civic life in Sutton and will be sorely missed. That does mean we will be having an election for chair at the AGM. If you would like to stand for the role as chair, please drop a line to info@suttoncivicsociety.org.uk by 28 February 2021.
  • SUTTON GREEN FAYRE: The Friends of Sutton Green have slated Sunday 18 July 2021 for the Summer Fayre on the Green. It remains very Covid dependent, but community groups are warmly welcomed to have a stall – free of charge again. Put it in the diary though. If we can commune again, it will be a joyful occasion.
  • ARGOS REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL: there is a pre-application proposal to demolish and replace the existing Argos building, next to the Asda on the High Street, with a 9-storey brick-faced block of 39 flats with retail at ground floor level (see images below). More detail and the ability to submit comments here. The most significant departure from the Sutton Town Centre Masterplan is the height of the building (9 storeys as opposed to 2-4 storeys – see zoning diagram below), but the roofline is also completely out of character for the High Street.
  • TOPPS TILES REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL: On 11 January 2021, a planning application (DM2021/00043) was made to redevelop the Topps Tiles shop and the car park at the back into two blocks of flats. It would provide 34 flats (and no affordable housing) including studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom flats. The proposed height is in contrary to the local plan (3-4 storeys). It is a featureless box, which does not serve its “Northern Gateway” location and would create a high-density development with loss of openness, substantially overshadowing Victoria Gardens.
  • LIDL PROPOSAL TO CLOSE HIGH STREET ENTRANCE REFUSED: Lidl obtained permission in March 2020 (planning details for application DM2019/02113 here) to redevelop the former Matalan store on the High Street/Marshall’s Road – a welcome development. However, Lidl’s subsequent application to brick-up the High Street entrance, which would have allowed access only from the car park at the rear (application DM2020/01338 here and elevation/plan below) was refused on 23 December 2020.
    The Society objected strongly to this proposal on grounds of transport and access policy civic amenity and the impact on vibrancy of the High Street. It was refused on the basis that “inactive shop frontage that would cause significant and unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the local area and the vitality and viability of the High Street. As such, the proposal would be contrary to Policies 18 and 28 of the Sutton Local Plan 2018 and The Sutton Town Centre Public Realm Design for developers and infrastructure providers (Jan 2020)“.  Lidl have indicated an intention to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
  • GRAPES PART-DEMOLISHED: Permission was granted in October 2020 for the redevelopment of the rear of the former Wetherspoons pub The Grapes into a 5-storey block of 26 flats (planning application ref:  DM2019/01953, see images below). Demolition work has already started as part of the redevelopment.
  • SOUND LOUNGE – NOW OPEN: The Sound Lounge (Sutton’s newest live music venue, vegan café and community hub in the former RBS Building in the North High Street) is now open, but presently only for take-aways. Many thanks to Hannah White and Kieran Marshall for their dogged determination to get it off the ground!
  • LOW TRAFFIC NEIGHBOURHOODS: The new consultation on modifications to the North Sutton LTN closes on 13 March 2021Consultations for the LTNs in other parts of Sutton are available here.
  • SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT STRATEGY CONSULTATION: The borough is consulting on a new Sustainable Transport Strategy (STS) for the London Borough of Sutton. This new STS replaces the one published in 2015 and sets out how a greater use of walking, cycling, and public transport will be facilitated and encouraged for those who live and work in or visit the borough.  The consultation is open for responses here and closes on 25 Mar 2021.
  • RESEARCH STARTS AT CANCER HUB: Research has started at the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery at the former Sutton Hospital site next to the Royal Marsden, operated by the Institute of Cancer Research see ICR press release here. It is reckoned that it will eventually employ 13,000 people. In the short term, it will be served by the re-routed S2 and S4 bus routes.
  • ROSE HILL SCHOOL DECISION BY 25 FEBRUARY 2021: the Planning Inspector held the inquiry between 9-24 September 2020 on DfE’s appeal against the refusal of permission for the proposed new Rose Hill Schools. She has recently announced that she is to give her decision on or before 25 February 2021see letter here.
  • PRINCE REGENT TO BE DEMOLISHED: the revised 6-storey block of 30 flats with ground floor retail designed by Harp & Harp received planning approval on 4 November 2020.  The Prince regent will be demolished and replaced by the block and car-parking which will serve a new Aldi underneath Sovereign House (the vacant ground floor unit next door). You can see the planning documents here. This is how it will look from the High Street with Helena House for comparison.

If there’s anything else you want to discuss, drop a quick email to info@suttoncivicsociety.org.uk.

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