It sometimes takes some time to get things done, but our efforts continue to improve Sutton South. Above, the new low energy lights being installed in Cavendish Road. Below, the new tree replacing one that was vandalised (also pictured), in Willis Avenue. Note the protection against vandals.
Trish and Richard were members of the task group that drafted the new local plan for Sutton. After going through a process of public review by a Government Inspector, the plan was presented to and agreed by the Housing, Economy and Business Committee on 13 February. Richard addressed the Committee on what he saw as the virtues of the plan. The plan was endorsed by Council on 26 February and Richard again addressed the meeting, reminding Councillors that the process of public review – which can lead to major revision of such plans – left it virtually unscathed. The core policies of the plan survived without alteration, and are the central policies that have helped us maintain the pleasant, green, suburban character of Sutton our residents cherish. This is evidence of the strength of the document.
The plan supports development that is in keeping with the best in our local environment – preserving the green, suburban feel of Sutton while meeting the aspiration to have homes for our children to grow up here. The plan promotes good quality design, school places, the London Cancer Hub, surgeries, the protection of pubs, parks and open spaces, and minimum standards for housing. It also strengthens the protection of Conservation Areas and Areas of Special Local Character. It is our plan for a successful Sutton.
Two new developments in our war on speeding – new speed indicator signs in Farm Road. These do have an impact on traffic speeds, as people are reminded how fast they are going. Where else should we have them?
And the width restriction has now been installed in Grange Vale to slow traffic passing under the bridge, which will be of benefit to pedestrians passing along the narrow pavement under the bridge against the flow of traffic (in particular if pushing a buggy).
Almost as soon as the width restriction was installed on 22 January it was vandalised, with one of the bollards being removed. This must have been done by someone with sophisticated cutting equipment. the road will be closed again on Monday 5 February for the bollard to be replaced.
On 24 January Richard attended the meeting of Sutton Council’s Licensing Committee and spoke to the Committee about the new licence application submitted by the Noor Jahan Tandoori bar, at 10 Station Parade, Sutton, just south of Sutton station on the Brighton Road.
The bar has a current Premises Licence to sell food and drink, but wanted to extend the hours of trading to 02:30 hours, to sell alcohol and food. Therefore, instead of varying the existing licence, they submitted a new application.
Applicants for licences are required to stipulate how they will promote the licensing objectives of:
- Prevention of crime and disorder
- Protection of children from harm
- Public safety
- Prevention of public nuisance.
The bar is in an area where special considerations apply and applicants have to demonstrate to a high standard how they comply with and promote these objectives. The bar is in a well populated residential area. We had doubts about it continuing to sell alcohol till 2.30am, even though this would be to people consuming food, as there could be noise problems for local residents in the wee small hours when it closes.
We sought the views of residents before commenting. A significant number of residents wrote expressing concern so Richard registered an objection to ensure the application was considered by the Licensing Committee.
The decision of the Committee was to restrict the hours of opening, so the bar will not stay open till 2.30 am.
Although Sutton borough has one of the lowest crime rates in London – and Sutton South Ward is among the Wards with the lowest crime rates in the borough – we must never be complacent.
We take part in regular consultation meetings with the police to discuss crime trends and priorities for police action in our Ward, and on Tuesday 31 October we met the police at Christchurch hall in Christchurch Park.
Our new Dedicated Ward Officer, PC Kellie Heath, is fitting in to her role and has been very active in meeting local community groups. Although the revised policing model promised by Borough Commander Mark Lawrence promises two Dedicated Ward Officers, supported by a PCSO, by the end of 2017, Kellie is at the moment something of a one woman band.
We were delighted that Frank Berry, who lives in Christchurch Park and was formerly chair of the Sutton Federation of Residents and Tenants’ Associations has agreed to chair future meetings.
The meeting ran through the crime statistics for the last three months. A theme in the four burglaries from houses was windows left open, and in motor vehicle crime carelessness about locking vehicles and leaving SatNavs on display inside the car. Other themes discussed at the meeting were incidents of rough sleeping in stairwells of blocks of flats. The meeting agreed that police priorities should continue to be burglary, anti-social behaviour and speeding.
This consultation meeting was much better attended than recent meetings in this series so our efforts at publicity are bearing fruit.
One of our concerns as Councillors is to maintain the pleasant, green, suburban feel of our area. Recently there have been a number of planning applications for sites in our Ward, including in Cavendish Road, Langley Park Road and Downside Road, that the Council’s planning officers have, rightly, turned down.
These have included proposals for house extensions that would close the visual gap between houses, causing harm to the spacious and open character of most of the roads in our Ward, and proposals for blocks of flats whose height, bulk, mass and design would constitute an unsympathetic form of development and have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area. Applications have also been turned down where at least some affordable housing ought to be provided, to promote mixed and balanced communities.
We are concerned that developments should relate sympathetically to the street scene and the local area. We have also objected to the way the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol sometimes over-rules democratic local decisions, leading to inappropriate development.
A post below describes the concerns in Cavendish Road. In Langley Park Road a proposal for a block of flats was turned down because the proposed development would result in an incongruous layout and unduly prominent development, excessive in scale, bulk and width, with an overly dominant parking area to the front out of keeping with the existing development pattern in the locality, thus detrimental to the character and appearance of the area and the street scene. It would by virtue of its siting and height result in an unacceptable impact on the outlook of the neighbouring occupiers, and would be detrimental to the health of significant trees affected by the development.
In Downside Road a proposal for erection of a two storey side/rear extension was turned down by the Council. The grounds were:
- The proposal would uncharacteristically close the visual gap between the application site and the adjoining neighbour causing significant and unacceptable harm to the spacious and open character of Downside Road and resulting in a visual terracing impact on the street scene contrary to planning policies.
- The proposal, by reason of its lack of a setback from the shared side boundary and excessively narrow garage, would result in a contrived appearance that would fail to relate sympathetically and subordinately to the original dwelling and cause harm to the street scene and the local area contrary to planning policies.
At the South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee meeting on 7 September our main decision was to install a vehicle operated sign in Farm Road to reduce speeding. Richard lives round the corner from Farm Road and vehicles certainly speed down it. This complements other measures in the Ward to reduce speeding, in particular in Cavendish Road and Cedar Road.
We also agreed to install a width restriction at the point in Grange Vale where the road passes under the bridge. The speed of vehicles has a safety implication for pedestrians walking west to east on the narrow pathway, particularly if pushing a buggy. We also agreed to plant a replacement for the vandalised tree in Willis Avenue. The committee also agreed Richard’s proposal to purchase from the Royal British Legion a “Silent Soldier” and install it in the flower beds in front of Northumberland House. These are large silhouettes of soldiers, designed to be installed through 2018 in prominent places to remind us that this is the centenary of the conclusion of the Great War.
We hope the parking consultation will now take place much earlier than anticipated.
The concern of Sutton Council to protect the green and pleasant environment in our Ward has again been demonstrated in Cavendish Road, though the threat to sensible and informed local decision taking from the remote Planning Inspectorate, based in Bristol, remains.
A planning application was submitted for the buildings at 7-9 Cavendish Road, previously a care home, for demolition of the buildings and erection of a three storey block of flats, with roof accommodation, comprising 16 flats (three 1-bedroomed, seven 2-bedroomed and six 3-bedroomed), 9 car parking spaces, secure cycle parking, provision of a refuse store, with access to the rear.
The Council has turned the application down. The Council considered that the proposed development, by reason of its height, bulk, mass and detailed design, would constitute an unsympathetic form of development that would have a negative visual impact on the Cavendish Road street scene. The proposed development would therefore have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area.
The Council also turned the application down because it considered that at least some affordable housing ought to be provided as part of an acceptable development on this site and, as such, the proposal would cause significant harm to the promotion of mixed and balanced communities.
An earlier application was also turned down but is now the subject of an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. This is a threat we cannot control. We will let residents know the outcome and if further applications are made.
A proposal for a house extension in Downside Road was also rejected as it would close the visual gap between houses, causing harm to the spacious and open character of the road and result in a visual terracing impact on the street scene.
A significant part of the northernmost section of Sutton South Ward is in the central Sutton Controlled Parking Zone. Sutton Council is consulting on a scheme to alter charges for parking permits in the Controlled Parking Zone so that charges relate to the CO2 emissions of vehicles. It is also introducing special provisions to help carers and those undertaking childcare who are regular visitors.
The general nature of the Order is, to support the Council’s Parking Strategy and policy to cut carbon emissions in the Borough, to link the charges for parking permits in the controlled parking zones to the CO2 emissions of the vehicle for which the permit is issued; and also to introduce the facility to purchase carer and childcare permits for use in the zones. The impact will be to reduce charges for the least polluting vehicles and increase them for some others, and facilitate carers and those with regular childcare responsibilities to park in the zone.
You can find the proposals at
clicking on “view our Permanent Traffic Order Consultations” and “Notices of Proposals”
Reference PP1035 – CPZ permit charge changes linked to CO2 emissions and carer permits
Comments are invited by 31 August.
Richard has commented on the proposals that he would like to see a differential scheme imposed for diesel vehicles as they do not emit excessive CO2 compared to other vehicles but do emit other harmful particulates.