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.
The last two winters have been fairly mild with not much snow, so many of us who collected free grit under the Council’s scheme to distribute free grit against icy weather in the last two years have still got the grit. This winter is, by contrast, proving severe and the cold weather at the end of February is demonstrating to all of us the value of the grit distribution scheme.
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.
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.
After a long consultation, to which the Council contributed, the Mayor of London has announced the closure of counter services at a swathe of police stations across London. We campaigned to save the service at Sutton station, and we have been successful.
Sadly, the counter service at Worcester Park station is to close. Shame on you, Sadiq Khan!
Sutton is renowned for low crime and good schools. Like all London boroughs we have had to deal with the bulge in pupil numbers. This has gone through the primary school system and our excellent local primary schools in this area have been able to cope, with most parents still getting their first choice of school. Many secondary schools in Sutton have expanded, including our popular local school Overton Grange, but two new secondary schools will still be needed and are planned. The new Harris Academy, integrated into the Sutton Cancer Hub development, is already proving popular with parents who plan to apply for places next year. Parents can be reassured that Sutton will be able to cope with the increased numbers without a fall in the high quality of local education or unacceptable congestion problems at the schools, which the schools have plans in place to cope with.
The Licensing Committee has received an application to open new premises at 11 Regent Parade, Brighton Road. This is for a salon, with the name Bamboo, providing reflexology and massage by certified Chinese practitioners. Regent Parade is the parade of shops just south of Sutton station, on the western side of Brighton Road, just north of the petrol station.
This is known as a “Special Treatments Licence.” Under the London Authorities Act 1991 premises offering special treatments involving a degree of physical contact (such as massage, acupuncture, manicure, piercing and tattooing) must have a “Special Treatments Licence” to undertake such activities.
There is a 28 days consultation period during which representations can be submitted to the Council’s Licensing Section. The full details of the application can be found on this link
If you wish to submit a representation it must be received by 11th November 2017. The link also provides details on how to make a representation. Do let us know if you make a representation.
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.