Sutherland House

Both Richard and Heather made important contributions to debates at the Sutton Council meeting on 30 April.
Supporting Local Businesses

Richard seconded a motion on supporting local businesses, noting the conclusions of the Portas review on support for town shopping centres. He pointed out out that we have strong planning controls in Sutton designed to maintain the pleasant, green, suburban character of the Borough, but that the Portas review and the proposals of the Local Government Association in response to it highlighted additional controls that would be useful. He noted that, on many of the specific proposals in the Portas review to re-vitalise shopping centres, Sutton was well placed – having strong links with local businesses, a mix of retail shops, banks, restaurants, leisure facilities, markets and events, good transport links and parking facilities.

Brighton Road High Street

Heather drew attention to the difficulties in Sutton South Ward relating to the continuing failure to re-develop Sutherland House (see the photo above) and hoped that the new powers we were seeking would improve our ability to influence situations like Sutherland House.
In another debate, we welcomed a review that is to be undertaken of parking controls in Sutton. A subject  that is of great interest to residents.
We noted that Sutton has low charges for parking, relative to most London Boroughs, issues fewer penalty notices than any other Borough, and that the accounts for parking charges roughly break even, so these charges do not subsidise other Council services  We both drew attention to our wish to introduce specific parking schemes in Suton Court and Eastleigh Close.
The text of the motion on planning was:
Supporting local businesses
Proposer:  Jayne McCoy
Seconder:  Richard Clifton
This Council notes the findings of the Portas Review and supports the Local Government Association’s response proposing a five point plan for our high streets.
This Council has produced its own response to the Portas review with specific recommendations it intends to implement locally in particular:
  • That the Council support the Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group in its application to become a Portas pilot.
  • That we build up a package of tailored support for District centres.
This Council welcomes the devolution of powers in the Localism Act to improve our local area and supports the Local Government Association’s call on the Government to now go further by giving Councils the power to protect our high streets and district centres, specifically:
  • To introduce new powers to enable councils to tackle the clustering of premises such as betting shops, fast food takeaway and late night off-licenses, and limiting the power of the planning inspectorate to overturn local community decisions.
  • To improve existing planning powers, including Article 4 and to introduce a new umbrella use class, in to which local authorities can add types of premises they consider to be problematic in their area.
Thereby allowing us to defend the diversity of our high streets and district centres and ensure they are thriving and sustainable for years to come.
Council calls upon the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Communities to press for these important new controls.

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