Trish and Richard have promoted a proposal put forward by Keith Percy of the Highfields Residents’ Association to extend the new S3 bus route so that it runs from Sutton station along Cedar Road to Eaton Road, then returning to Sutton station. This will be of value to residents in the east of our Ward. They have ensured that Sutton Council, in its formal response to the consultation, takes up this idea. The Council’s response says:
“The changes in the S3 and 413 will mean that the those who live in the Cedar Rd area near Sutton Station in South Sutton will no longer be on the S3 bus route and will not be on the 413 because its focus will change to further down Sutton High Street. However, Sutton South councillors, residents’ groups and the Sutton South Local Committee, support starting and ending the new S3 bus route in Eaton Rd reached via Cedar Road, to take account of this.”
Whether this proposal is accepted depends, of course, on Tfl.
TfL propose that there will be more buses serving the Sutton Hospital site (the Cancer Hub and the Harris Academy school) including a new S2 (which replaces some parts of the S4 route in Belmont and roads west of Brighton Road, and stops at St Helier Station). They propose that the 80 will be a double decker and will no longer serve the prisons, and the S1 will run with longer buses.
The consultation closed on 20 December 2020 and we await the final decisions of TfL.
Trish and Richard, in their quest to maintain the quality of building in our Ward, have recently been involved in two important victories.
First, the Planning Inspectorate, have thrown out an awful application to build two houses in back garden land at 87 The Ridgway. The Inspector placed much emphasis on the incongruity of such a development in an Area of Special Local Character and commented “my assessment [is] that it would be an incongruous and alien form of development in the open rear garden environment.”
Second, last June Criterion Capital, the owners of Northumberland House, sought planning permission to add two storeys to the top of the building. Their application has been refused by Sutton Council. Northumberland House is the tower block at the corner of Brighton Road and Wellesley Road, about 200 yards along Brighton Road if you turn left when coming out of Sutton station.
Richard says “This proposal to put an extra two storeys on top of the building was hideous in terms of design. I am glad it has been thrown out.”
The owner sought planning permission to extend the building, creating a further 36 flats by having two extra storeys on the ten storey part of the building and an extra storey on the lower part, with some additional flats in the”undercroft” above the parking area. A few of the 47 parking spaces would be lost, due to a need for additional bin space.
The application was turned down on the basis of design of the proposed tower extension and the lack of window openings within some of the proposed units.
We had noted that there would be some positives, such as the creation of a community amenity and play space on the tarmaced area at ground floor level. However, while there is a shortage of accommodation in London and more housing is needed, we were concerned that the building work has the potential to be disruptive to the lives of current residents. Also, an extra two storeys on top of the building would look incongruous and clearly out of keeping with the design of the rest of the building.
Residents of Northumberland House were concerned about the likely disruption involved in this proposed work, and have long standing concerns about frequent lift breakdowns in the building, and security. We know that, Sutton Council having refused planning permission, the developer has a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, which, we find, often sides with developers on applications such as this. One thing we can do as local Councillors is to identify conditions that will protect the interests of residents, and that we will try to get built into any planning permission they eventually obtain. For example, we can seek to ensure there is a construction management plan to control hours of work and control noise and dust nuisance. We can ask that the contractor joins the Considerate Contractors Scheme, which provides a route for residents to raise concerns if they observe poor behaviour. We can seek conditions that will require that access to the roof areas is only by external hoists, and that the peace and quiet of the interior of the building is not disturbed or the interior turned into a storage area, or building site.
Students returning to school at the start of the 2020 autumn term at Overton Grange enjoyed a quieter and safer atmosphere due to the introduction of a “school street” at the gates in Stanley Road at the time students arrived and left for the school day. This involved the closure of the part of Stanley Road adjacent to the school for a short period in the morning and afternoon, when the school day starts and ends.
The objectives of school streets are:
1) To improve safety around the school at start and finish time
2) To improve air quality for children outside their school gates (small people are particularly vulnerable to emissions from cars)
3) To create a more welcoming atmosphere around the school, where children can walk in the road and parents can feel more relaxed.
The scheme was a six month trial funded by Transport for London, who set the parameters of the scheme. The scheme was withdrawn in advance of the conclusion of the six month trial following a legal challenge to the lawfulness of such schemes, but by then it was proposed to withdraw the scheme. This related to difficulties experienced in enforcing the traffic controls, which at successful “school street” schemes involved the participation of the school and parents.
When Richard was first elected in 2010 one of the first projects he initiated was to get the “No Drinking Zone” in the centre of Sutton extended to our Ward. There were a group of what the police termed “all day drinkers” who used to congregate on Cedar Road outside Forest Dene Court.
The zone was extended to cover the area of our Ward south of the station as far as Cavendish Road, and running west to east from Brighton Road to Langley Park Road. In this area it is unlawful to continue to drink alcohol if asked by the police to stop, and there are provisions that would enable the police to confiscate alcohol. You will find reminders of the provisions attached to lampposts in the area, for example in Cedar Road.
The Council has, by law, to re-consider and consult afresh on these provisions from time to time. It is doing so at present. You can comment or make representations on the proposal to maintain these provisions. Representations must be made in writing and addressed to Safer Sutton Partnership Service, Environment, Housing and Regeneration Directorate, Sutton Police Station, 6 Carshalton Road, Sutton, SM1 4RF, before 21st September 2020. You need to state the grounds on which your representation or objection is made.
If you have any questions about this consultation, you can contact the Safer Sutton Partnership Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The renowned artist Lionel Stanhope has brightened up our Ward. The painting, on the railway bridge at Sutton station, is not easy to photograph, so what is shown below is a CGI of the artwork created before the painting was undertaken. What is above, is the painting.
The railway bridge at Sutton station has been brightened up with a painting by the renowned artist Lionel Stanhope, whose art has brightened up many railway stations. Stanhope completed the painting in four days starting on 26 May. Stanhope is regarded by many as a better and more important street artist than Banksy. We have been pleased to support this project which brings an attractive feature to add interest to the area.The façade of the railway bridge, as you come out of Sutton station and turn left,was a patchwork of various colours. The Council first tried to interest Network Rail in making the bridge look more attractive, over four years ago, during the “Sutton Gateway” project, which involved re-paving the area around the station and the installation of the clock opposite Sutton station. The artwork has been mainly funded by Network Rail, with a small contribution from Sutton Council. The parapet of the bridge required extensive cleaning and preparation before the painting commenced. Lionel Stanhope produced a design which incorporates the word “Sutton” in the typeface traditionally used by Southern railway, and a depiction of the historic Sutton locomotive. The locomotive “Sutton” came into the possession of the Council many years ago and is a 144 year old, 28 tonne, 26 feet, A1 class Terrier steam engine. It is currently with a heritage railway undertaking in Tunbridge Wells who have undertaken to restore it. The painting is an addition to an area becoming famous for its street art. Within two hundred yards you can find the remarkable statue “The Messenger”, located directly outside the entrance to Quadrant House in The Quadrant. The Messenger is a statue, a sculpture in bronze with very dark patination, completed by David Wynne in 1981, of a large horse and rider. It was a major commission for the sculptor, who died in 2014. It took four years to complete from his first idea and inspiration, on receipt of the brief – through roughing out, refining and casting in a foundry, to the final unveiling and installation. We are not including a photograph of the statue in this post due to the philistine attitude of the owners of Quadrant House, who do not cherish this artwork and have stuck a notice on the front of it about some aspect of building maintenance, thus disfiguring it. They have been unco-operative in the face of requests to remove the notice. Even more striking is the remarkable mural by the famous Spanish “street” artist from Bilbao, Eva Mena, on a wall in nearby Wellesley Road. This is said to be of the American singer and musician Erykah Badu. The work was commissioned by the owners of the building, Indepth Hygiene Services. It was painted in three days in 2010, when the artist came over from Spain to paint it. It is entirely typical of her street art, which is to be found on walls in many parts of the world, including Egypt, Ireland and Spain, as well as Sutton. Eva Mena is said to be more famous than Banky in her native Spain.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, advised by Historic England, has added to the National Heritage List for England the historic sewer pipe in Hillcroome Road.
This structure thus becomes the only structure in our Ward to be nationally listed as of historic and architectural significance, so it could only be altered or have work done on it if listed building consent was obtained. There are three other buildings in our Ward that are listed on the Local List of structures of local importance, which provides a lesser degree of protection. These are:
the Registrar’s office (The Russetings) in Worcester Road, a Victorian house that it is believed the Walls family, famous for Walls ice cream and Walls sausages, lived in, though this is disputed
Stowford in Brighton Road, a Victorian house, now the Eagle House school
the pavilion of the Highfield Lawns tennis club at the junction of Mayfield Road and The Ridgway, as an example of an Edwardian tennis pavilion, build by local builder Percy Vere Windebank in 1908
These Drain Pressure Release Pipes, also known as ‘Stink Pipes’, can be seen at various locations within the old Carshalton Urban District Council boundary. They have been listed on the basis of the criterion that they are important to the townscape view.
They were produced by W. Macfarlane & Co. of Glasgow, a prestigous Victorian Ironworks. The company employed imaginative designers and produced huge amounts of ornate and decorative ironwork. The pipes are extremely tall with an ornate top fixture comprising a large arrow, a globe with four trumpetlike funnels and a spike spire piercing a crown. The height and funnels may be to ensure the gas disperses efficiently so as not to inconvenience local residents. It is not known what purpose the arrow has, whether to indicate the direction of sewer flow or act as a weather vane to indicate wind direction.
They serve two purposes, firstly to prevent a build up of pressure in underground sewers in the event of a blockage, and secondly to vent off any hydrogen sulphide gas. This gas, which smells of rotten eggs, can build up when sewage becomes septic, on long runs, or when the speed of the sewage is slow in flat areas. It is extremely corrosive and can eat through the concrete pipes. The sewerage system would have become a necessity after the rapid increases in population and residences in Sutton and Carshalton at the end of the 1800s. Prior to this sewage would have been dispersed into cesspits and drainage ditches, with a risk of contamination of the drinking water supply, contributing to ill health.
The history of W. Macfarlane and Co. and their foundry, the Saracen Foundry, is fascinating. In 1851 Walter Macfarlane (1817-1885) established his company in a disused foundry in Saracen Lane in Gallowgate, Glasgow, and named it Saracen Foundry. It later moved to Washington Street, near the River Clyde. By 1872 his nephew, also named Walter MacFarlane (1853–1932), joined the rapidly expanding company and they relocated to Possilpark, a site of 100 acres on the outskirts of the city. Here a foundry with railway access and a village-styled infrastructure to house the workforce was built. In a decade it housed 10,000 people but the vast iron-founding site caused much pollution. The young MacFarlane made standardisation and good design the key to the company’s successful development. The foundry’s work was used on prestigous developments and widely distributed. During the Second World War Possilpark industrial works was a vast and well-lit target for attack. The recovery of iron to melt down for the war effort also removed much of Saracen’s work. After the war, the collapse of the British Empire, the move away from steam power and the use of new designs and materials led to a vast decline in orders. In 1967 the foundry at Possilpark closed.
One of the ways to combat global warming is to plant more trees. Richard and Trish have been responsible for getting the Council to plant many trees in our Ward, some to replace trees that were lost to disease but many new trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and pollution, and pump out oxygen. Sutton is amongst the leaders among the 32 London boroughs in the number of street trees per yard of pavement. This contributes to the pleasant, green, suburban atmosphere of the area we all so much enjoy, though it creates a headache every autumn when the leaves fall.
This planting activity has included trees in:
Upland Road – outside 18, 20, 39. 103
Camborne Road – outside 47/49, 32/34
Effingham Close – 17, 26
Langley Park Road – opposite 91 Egmont
Devonshire Road – outside the school
The Ridgway – 18, 59
Christchurch Park – one outside, and one opposite, White Lodge Close.
The Council’s programme for re-surfacing roads and pavements has been under pressure over recent years due to the impact of austerity and cuts to Government support to Councils. The Council has had to implement savings measures in order to survive, and it has been a struggle to maintain these programmes.
There is an annual programme of review of priorities for the resurfacing of roads and pavements and replacement of light columns. Last year, we were delighted by the re-surfacing of the pavement in Mayfield Road. The programme for the coming year includes more work in our Ward, including the re-surfacing of the footway in The Ridgway (pictured above) and the replacement of concrete light columns in a number of roads at the western end of the Ward –
We now have the results of the final stage of the Council’s consultation on parking. The third round of consultation was on a proposal developed from the results of the first two consultations, for a Permit Parking Area in roads in our Ward east of Langley Park Road.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE EARLIER
ROUNDS OF CONSULTATION
As parking is often raised as a problem in the regular surveys of residents on what they like about living in Sutton, the Council asked residents if parking was a problem in their road and what they would like done. Earlier rounds of consultation led to proposals that were not given sufficient support by residents for the Council to proceed with them.
There were concerns that unless
the controls cover the whole local area parking will be displaced into roads
without controls, and “free to park at any time” bays would be a magnet for
commuters and long stay parkers, squeezing out residents. The alternative to schemes
that have these disadvantages is a residents-only Permit Parking Area (PPA).
THE FINAL STAGE OF
Consequently, the Council
consulted residents at the end of 2019 on a proposed PPA. As roads not within
the scheme will suffer from displaced parking if the roads nearby are in the
scheme, the area consulted on was wide, running from Egmont Road to Willis
Avenue and Prior Avenue – including Chalgrove Road, The Ridgway, Mayfield Road,
Farm Road, Farm Close, Upland Road, Kayemoor Road, Downside Road, Willis Avenue
and Prior Avenue.
The results of the consultation are clear – in every one of the roads listed above a majority of those expressing a view on the proposals supported their introduction. In some roads – particularly Chalgrove, Mayfield, The Ridgway, Upland – this was by a large margin. In all these roads more than one in four residents responded to the study, a high response rate for such local consultation exercises, and opinion was more than two to one in support of the proposed parking controls. In other roads consulted there was a lower response rate but still majorities in favour of the proposals. Once a scheme is introduced, any individual road left out will suffer high levels of parking, so any scheme needs to cover the whole area. It is a clear result that gives the Council a mandate to proceed with the introduction of the PPA consulted on.
The way the PPA works is that
only residents can park their vehicles in the road for a “control period”, 9 to
11 AM each day on weekdays, thus removing commuters and long stay parkers. Residents
who need to park a car on the road rather than in their drive during the
“control period” will need to obtain a parking permit to display on the
vehicle, and many residents will want to obtain “visitors’ permits” for their
visitors if the visitors need to park in the street during the control period. There
are special arrangements for carers. As this scheme will involve some costs of
administration and enforcement there will be a charge for a permit, to cover
costs, though all residents can get an initial supply of visitors’ permits
without charge. The Council can cover costs but not use parking charges to
subsidise other services. Parking charges in Sutton are amongst the lowest of
borough. Charges per vehicle are on a scale you can find on the Council website
and start at £40. A similar charge in Croydon is £80, Merton and Kingston £90, Richmond
£99. You only need a permit if you need to park a car in the road during the
“control period.” A PPA involves notices to advise motorists of the parking
controls but there is no need for yellow lines.
Residents will receive a letter from the Council which will set out the timetable for introducing the scheme, later this year, and how to obtain permits.
Many residents are concerned
about parking and we are pleased they have now had the opportunity to put their
view on a concrete proposal developed on the basis of consultation, and a clear
outcome has emerged.
SPEEDING AND POLLUTION
We are concerned that the
removal of parking from the area will lead to clear roads that will attract
more traffic and speeding. In many parts of London, though often more affluent areas,
residents have campaigned to get the traffic out of otherwise quiet residential
streets and onto the main roads by turning roads into cul-de-sacs, thus
creating quiet roads with better air quality and no through traffic. A good
example locally is the gate at the end of Dorset Road which makes Homeland Drive a
quiet, traffic free road. We are interested in the proposals residents have been
putting to us for consultation on such traffic initiatives in our area. Nothing
is currently proposed but, as traffic continues to increase, this is the next
issue we need to look at. Do let us know your views.
The owner of the Noor Jahan Tandori Bar in Brighton Road has submitted an appeal against the decision of Sutton Council to remove his licence to sell alcoholic drinks.
Sutton Council completed its review of the licence of the Noor Jahan Tandoori Bar, at 10 Station Parade, Sutton, just south of Sutton station on the Brighton Road, earlier this year. The bar is the only bar in Sutton South Ward.
At a hearing of the Licensing Committee on Monday 17 February in the Civic Offices in Sutton, the decision was taken to revoke the bar’s licence. Trish and Richard attended the hearing. Richard told the committee that he did not want to see the bar closed but it needed to be much better managed, as it had been in the past, to ensure there was no nuisance to local residents.
The bar had a Premises Licence to sell food and drink till late at night.
Discussion at the committee related to the four licensing objectives of:
Prevention of crime and disorder
2. Protection of children from harm
3. Public safety
4. Prevention of public nuisance.
The committee was shown video evidence indicating breaches of the licence conditions, with trading outside the permitted hours, smoking in the bar, and noise problems.
The decision of the owner to appeal means that, in normal circumstances, the bar could continue to operate until the appeal is determined. However, the current coronavirus restrictions mean that the bar, along with other pubs, restaurants and bars, is closed. The current restrictions mean it may be a while before the appeal is determined.
The premises are up for sale and it is believed that there is a buyer keen to take over the bar. The buyer would, unless the appeal succeeds, have to apply for a new licence and convince the Licensing Committee that the premises will be better managed in future.
It is understood that the Spagetti Tree restaurant, near the bar, is taking over the vacant unit next to it (also an Italian restaurant until it closed recently). And that the vacant Rift and Co. premises opposite Sutton station will become a Sainsbury’s local.