CHANGES PROPOSED TO LOCAL BUS ROUTES: HAVE YOUR SAY

Transport for London are planning to make changes to local bus routes, including the S1, S3, S4, 80 and 407. There is a link to maps, below. which will help you see what is proposed. 

The S3 will be renumbered as 413 and will no longer run along Cedar Road. It will serve Belmont Station to Morden via Banstead Road, Carshalton Station and Westmead Road

Some parts of the routes S1, S4 and 407  will be changed but not in our immediate area.

S1 will run with longer busses.

There will be more busses serving the Sutton Hospital site (Cancer Hub and School) including a new S2 (which replaces some of the S4 in Belmont and roads west of Brighton Road and stops at St Helier Station) 

The 80 will be a double decker and will no longer serve the prisons. 

To find out more, including maps of all routes affected and to have your say as part of the consultation, please visit Transport for London’s website: tfl.gov.uk/sutton-croydon-bus-changes

This consultation will run until Sunday 29 November 2020.

SCHOOL STREET AT OVERTON GRANGE SCHOOL

Trish and Richard at the school

Students returning to school this term at Overton Grange school will be able to enjoy a quieter and safer atmosphere due to the introduction of a “school street” at the gates in Stanley Road at the time students are arriving and leaving for the school day. This involves 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.


It may also increase the number of children walking/cycling/taking buses, but that isn’t the primary objective. 


The school streets proposal involves the closure of a small stretch of Stanley Road between the Camborne Road junction and the bridge for a short period when students are arriving and leaving morning and afternoon on weekdays when the school is operating. It will benefit the children. The parameters of this experimental programme were set by TfL who are funding it. At the end of the six month trial the scheme will come out, but if the Council wishes to make it permanent there will need to be a traffic management order which requires extensive consultation.

Many of our residents send their children to this school and have campaigned for measures to improve road safety at the school gates.

PARKING PERMIT SCHEME SUPPORTED IN CONSULTATION NOW TO BE IMPLEMENTED

The Sutton South Parking Permit Area is to be implemented, to come into force on Monday 30 November. The scheme has been subject to several rounds of consultation. Earlier proposals were thrown out by the residents, on consultation, but the scheme now to be implemented won broad support. In the final round of consultation a majority of those responding, in every road that will be included, supported the proposal.

The scheme covers, broadly, roads east of Langley Park Road as far as Banstead Road South. So Chalgrove Road, Mayfield, The Ridgway, Farm Road, Farm Close, Upland, Downside, Kayemoor, Willis Avenue and Prior Avenue. It prohibits parking in the road between 9 am and 11 am on weekdays unless you are a resident of the area and display a parking permit on your car. It means that those (including Richard) who need to park a vehicle in the road between 9 and 11 am on weekdays will need to obtain a parking permit. All residents can obtain a supply of visitors’ permits. There will be a letter from the Council with information on this. Some signage will appear and be “bagged” until 30 November. We are happy to field questions on the practicalities. 

It has long been recognised that clearing the parked cars from roads such as Mayfield Road will lead to speeding. This is one of the reasons why, at the same time, a six month trial of making this area a 20 mph speed limit area is underway.

MAJOR THREAT TO DEMOCRATIC DECISION-TAKING IN OUR WARD

Local consultation on planning proposals is vital to maintain standards of build and design, and the street scene

As local Councillors, we have always been active in looking at planning applications in our Ward and opposing those not good enough to meet our high standards in Sutton. Recently we have been active on proposals in Brighton Road, The Ridgway and Hillcroome Road, not all of which have yet been resolved. If you scan down the posts on this website you will find numerous examples of planning applications where we have joined with local residents to get improvements or oppose what developers are proposing. It is our claim that since the last local election every time we have taken an application to Planning Committee because we thought it not good enough we have got the proposal rejected.

But now there is a major threat – the proposals of the Government to “reform” planning law are likely to, in many cases, remove the requirements for local consultation on planning proposals and act as a developers’ charter. We want to retain a system that, while it has defects, lets local people have a democratic say on what is built locally. It is too important a right for us to lose. 

A MOVING ADDITION TO THE DEVONSHIRE AVENUE NATURE AREA

The “memorial” bench that has been placed in the Devonshire Avenue Nature Area, incorporating commemorative images remembering those who died in war, is a moving addition to the area. Here is Trish at the new bench.

The nature area is the only open space in our Ward and, particularly as many families live in flats with no access to a garden for children to play in, the nature area is an important amenity.

MAINTAINING THE “NO DRINKING ZONE” IN OUR WARD

The “No Drinking Zone” was extended south from Sutton town centre

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 safersutton@sutton.gov.uk

CREATING QUIET NEIGHBOURHOODS

The reduction in traffic in our residential roads at the height of the lockdown brought quiet, clean air, blue skies and a wish to preserve the pleasant environment it created. We have obtained, from schemes established by the Government and the London Mayor to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, funding for plans to maintain these advances. The schemes are trials and will be monitored throughout the initial six months. Normally the Council would consult extensively before their introduction but the offer of funding is for immediate action following emergence from lockdown, so the measures will be introduced and monitored to assess resident reaction and their impact. The principal proposals include, in our Ward:

* The Permit Parking Area (PPA) planned for roads from Mayfield Road running east as far as Banstead Road South, which residents strongly supported in consultation exercises, will be introduced from 30 November. This should reduce traffic and parking in this area

* An extension of the 20 mph speed limit area in Langley Park Road to roads to the east, as far as Banstead Road South, has been introduced. This includes the part of the Ward where a PPA is to be introduced, so the reduced parking will lead to speeding, which has to be dealt with to maintain the peace and quiet of these residential roads

* An experimental “modal filter” (allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross but not other vehicles) to reduce traffic rat running north to south through the area, at Kings Lane, has been introduced. This will be subject to assessment after introduction and maintained if there is resident support. The impact on traffic in Langley Park Road and other local roads will be monitored. A proposal for a second filter, in Langley Park Road, remains in the programme but will not be implemented while Sutton Court Road is closed at the west end, and will be subject to review in the light of an assessment of the impact on traffic in the area from the Kings Lane filter

* A“school street” at Overton Grange school to deal with traffic at the school gates has been implemented, closing the road where the school is situated to traffic when school students are arriving and leaving, so they can do so in safety and quiet. This involves the closure of Stanley Road south of the junction with Camborne Road when Overton Grange students are arriving and leaving.

These improvements will help maintain the peace of the quiet residential roads in our Ward, improve air quality, make the area more pleasant for walking and cycling, and benefit the neighbourhood. We hope to create a neighbourhood with less noise, less non-residential traffic, less speeding, cleaner air and a safer and more pleasant environment, promoting walking and cycling.

The proposals also respond to the many of the concerns raised by residents in the survey last year supporting the Council’s Liveable Neighbourhoods bid to the Mayor of London. These were:

1. Too much rat-running traffic
2. A wish for more trees, plants, greenery
3. A need for improvement to air-quality
4. A need for slower vehicle speeds on residential roads
5. More pedestrian crossings on main roads
6. More welcoming streets for walking
7. More welcoming streets for cycling

We will be monitoring closely the impact of these measures and traffic levels were monitored in local streets in August. Normally the Council would consult extensively before their introduction but the offer of funding is for immediate action following emergence from lockdown, so the measures will be introduced and monitored to assess resident reaction and their impact. If, after the initial experimental six month period, the Council was minded to retain the schemes on a permanent basis there would be full resident consultation on a traffic management order.

On the criteria for evaluation of the temporary schemes, this is what TfL are asking us to use.

We will look at a range of factors when considering whether or not to make a temporary scheme permanent. These include the:

  • Effects the scheme has had and could continue to have on road safety and pedestrian overcrowding
  • Number of cyclists and pedestrians who have used each scheme
  • Contribution each scheme makes to the look and feel of the local area
  • Impact of the scheme on traffic, including the bus network
  • Feedback from the public and other stakeholders
  • Impact of the scheme on people protected under the Equality Act 2010

By way of background, the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods scheme was set up by the Conservative Government in consultation with the Labour London Mayor.  A total of 859 schemes are being trialled across London for six months from September, and the rules for these schemes were set up by Central Government at very short notice. The Government asked for bids from every London Borough in mid May that had to be made within just a month, by 22nd June, which is not ideal. 

The choice of areas was based on past requests to Local Committees, suggestions made by residents, and proposals previously made under the Transport for London (TfL) Liveable Neighbourhoods bid. 

The Department for Transport advise that the six months long trials of the temporary schemes will enable further consultation if it is intended to make any of the schemes permanent. The benefit of a trial is that one can see if a scheme works or does not work, or can be improved. Where these schemes have been set up elsewhere in London they have often proved popular with residents.

In normal non- Covid times, we would have expected longer notice of bidding for schemes to allow for public consultation but the Government did not allow the usual process (which normally takes some months), on this occasion, as the timescale was telescoped into a very short one, of one month only.   

PLANNING APPLICATION FOR TOWER BLOCK AT BRIGHTON ROAD/ COPSE HILL JUNCTION THROWN OUT BY PLANNING INSPECTORATE

Dunsfold Court in Blackbush Close is opposite the site and residents already say it is difficult to find a parking space

There are further developments on the succession of planning applications to build a tower block on the site that includes numbers 2 and 4 Copse Hill (including The Whitehouse Dental Surgery, 2 Copse Hill, Sutton. SM2 6AD) plus an adjacent block at 52-54 Brighton Road. The first application proposed over-intensive development of the site, to erect a block of flats with 65 flats. We considered this overdevelopment of the site, incongruous in the local context and likely to cause unacceptable problems relating to parking in the area, with an inadequate number of parking places proposed for 65 flats in an area that already has a shortage of parking spaces.

Following representations that we, together with many residents, made concerning this planning application, it was turned down by Council Planning Officers.

It was turned down for a number of reasons including the scale, mass and bulk of the development, the quantum of development representing an overdevelopment of the site, the lack of affordable housing and technical reasons such as the lack of biodiversity accounting.

The developer lodged an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. We now have the the Planning Inspectorate’s decision – to reject the appeal.

The developer has, however, submitted a further planning application. It is essentially the same application but with a bit of trimming to try to meet the objections to the previous application – for example it is now 55 flats not 65. This is application DM2020/00632. We await the views of the Council’s planning officers.


The site of the proposed block, viewed from Brighton Road

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Trish, our Mayor, addresses a vast but socially distanced crowd at the Black Lives Matter event

On 20 June Trish and Richard attended an event at the open space opposite St Helier hospital to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was difficult to estimate the size of the crowd as it was spread out over a vast area to ensure social distancing. The police attended to ensure social distancing was observed, which it was. Trish made an excellent and impassioned speech, as did her daughter Lauren. Lauren told us that the previous day she had submitted, as part of her University course, a dissertation on mental illness in prisons. A finding had been that BAME prisoners were much more likely to be affected. Councillor Dombey also spoke.

EXCITING NEW STREET ART AT SUTTON STATION

The artwork viewed from the north
The artwork viewed from the south

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.