A green, pleasant, suburban environment – this is Sutton

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.


At the Housing, Economy and Business Committee meeting on 13 February the Committee considered a draft of a publication that will list all the “locally listed” buildings in Sutton. Most people are aware that historic buildings might be “listed” to prevent their being inappropriately developed or demolished. This is, however, a national system, and local authorities can prepare lists of local structures that are of significance locally though not grand enough to go on the national list.

There are four such structures in Sutton South Ward.

  • 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
  • a Victorian sewer vent pipe in Hillcroome Road, one of 24 in the area, manufactured at an ironworks (W. Macfarlane and Co.) in Glasgow and erected when mains sewerage came to the area in the nineteenth century.

Perhaps the most unusual of these is the sewer vent pipe, pictured above.


The latest planning application for 7-9 Cavendish Road, for demolition of the building and erection of a block of 16 flats, was turned down by the Council. The Planning Inspectorate, on appeal, has overturned the Council’s decision.

The main objection was that the design of the building – with sixteen small flats crammed in – was unsympathetic to the pleasant, green, suburban character of the road.

The developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol against the decision. On 9 January Richard attended a hearing on the appeal conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, and spoke up for the interests of local residents. Richard helped the previous owner get permission for the change of use of the building from being a care home, when the care home closed, to being a residential property, as the owner said she intended to live in it. He also helped her get Sutton Housing Partnership to repair the fence at the back.

We regret that the national planning system allows developers to bypass local democracy and appeal to this remote body, whose decision is final. 


Are car clubs part of the solution?

Residents of Sutton South Ward have been consulted on problems and solutions concerning parking in the Ward. There has been a high response and the timetable for future action has been spelt out.

All residents received a consultation letter from Sutton Council relating to the parking issues in our Ward. When the Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee adopted the parking strategy in late 2016, involving a programme of consultation with residents over a period of time, we were pleased at the programme of consultation proposed but unhappy with the timescales. To undertake consultation in a way the traffic engineers could cope with, action in our area would not start till well into 2018. Following our campaign, this first stage has now been brought forward.

The consultation document recognises that there is a high demand for commuter parking near to Sutton train station and the town centre, in our Ward. The fact that part of our area is just outside the Sutton Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) means that there is more pressure on local roads, leading to parking problems being moved onto neighbouring streets.

The consultation will gather feedback from local residents in respect of parking pressures, issues and the days/times these are occurring to feed into wider analysis and development of options to progress to statutory consultation to address these issues.

The consultation ran until early January and response was via postage paid return envelope. Responses will be collated and analysed, the results to be fed back to consult on next steps. The timetable has now been spelt out and will involve analysis of responses and road-by-road results in the Spring, consultation on proposed options over the summer. If a clear consensus emerges there could be statutory consultation in the autumn and implementation by November.

There is more information at



Two speed signs – one in each direction – in Farm Road

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.





Be ready for snowy and icy conditions by collecting free grit on the weekend of 24-25 November

Sutton Council is offering residents and businesses in the London Borough of Sutton the opportunity to collect 10kg of free grit per household or business to use on footpaths, pavements or roads in front of their homes or business premises.

You can also collect grit for your elderly friends and neighbours, or residents/businesses who don’t have cars. The free grit is available from the following locations:

* Woodcote Green Garden Centre:- Saturday 24 November, 9am – 5.30pm (The garden centre is open until 7pm that day, but we will only be giving out grit until 5.30pm.)
* Woodmansterne Lane, Wallington:- SM6 0SU: Sunday 25 November, 10am – 4pm
* Kimpton Park Reuse and Recycling Centre:- Saturday 24 November, 9am – 5pm
* Kimpton Park Way (off Oldfields Road, A217), Sutton, SM3 9QH:- Sunday 25 November, 9am – 2pm

We will also be arranging deliveries for residents that are on an assisted waste collection. If you already receive an assisted collection and are interested in receiving free grit this winter, please get in touch with the Council’s contact centre, where your details will be taken.

Grit at Kimpton Park Reuse and Recycling Centre and Woodcote Green Garden Centre will be ready bagged.

Please note proof of residency or that you have a business in the London Borough of Sutton will be required for yourself and any other household or business you are collecting grit for. Please bring along relevant council tax, business rates (NNDR) or utility bills for each household or local business.

We hope you’ll join us in checking in with vulnerable neighbours to see if they need help in cold weather.

POWER CUTS – The cold weather is upon on us. Do you or someone you know need extra support during a power cut?

Although power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying.  UK Power Networks is the electricity network for London and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut.  Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support.  You can find more details and register by visiting ukpowernetworks.co.uk/prioritysupport or calling 0800 169 9970.


The normal pattern of waste collection resumes on Tuesday 9 January (food, recycling (cans, glass, plastics, cartons), rubbish)

From Monday 8 January to Saturday 20 January 2018, we will be collecting real Christmas trees from the kerbside for composting.

Place it out for collection by 6am on the same day that your non-recyclable waste is collected, that is Tuesday 9 January. Please remove all decorations and pots and place your tree out for collection by 6am.

If you live in a flat and use communal bins please leave your tree next to the bin store and this will be collected. Please do not place your Christmas tree inside the bin store as this may prevent other residents accessing the bins.

If you prefer, you can take your tree free of charge to the Recycling Centre at Kimpton Park Way.

Happy New Year


There is continuing consultation being carried out by Southern and Thameslink on changes to the timetabling of trains from Sutton station. There is a further consultation on changes to weekend and late night services which you can find at 


This website invites comment on the changes. The website gives no closing date for comments but we understand that this will be 18 December. 

You can also give feedback at


On 20 November Sutton Council debated the subject of homelessness.

This is the text of Richard’s speech.

“During my year as Mayor I was continually struck with admiration for the massive contribution to Sutton made by volunteers. Volunteers for a great range of organisations, and in particular volunteers for organisations like Nightwatch, like the Street Pastors, like Sutton Community Works,  and like the food banks, all of whom are dedicated to helping the poorest and most dispossessed in our society.

But I could never escape from a feeling that in a rational and caring society organisations like the food banks and those providing in effect soup kitchens and advice for rough sleepers and those with no resources, like Nightwatch, would not exist. They would have no clients. How is it that in an affluent society like Britain we are such an unequal society that we have people in such poverty that they need food banks to feed themselves and they lose the roof over their heads, reduced at worst to rough sleeping, at best to the local authority finding them emergency bed and breakfast accommodation probably some miles from Sutton.

This would be an entirely academic observation were it not for the fact that this problem is not diminishing, it is increasing. Not just in Sutton, but nationally.

The statistics for Sutton show that in April of 2015 the number of homeless households the Council had placed in temporary accommodation stood at 280, a year later it was 411, last week it stood at 581. But it is not a Sutton problem, it is a national problem. It is everywhere.

As a Councillor I have found increasing casework concerning families given notice to quit and that the Council then has to place in emergency accommodation often miles from their roots, miles from the schools their children attend, miles from their employment in Sutton. In one recent case I dealt with this eviction appeared to be largely because the family had complained to the landlord about the all pervading damp in the flat.

What can be done to turn the tide ? What local authorities and volunteers like Nightwatch can do is no more than picking up the pieces. The Council has the difficult task of finding accommodation. When I was Chair of Planning Committee three years ago one of the decisions we took, controversial at the time and I recollect it was not without opposition, was to convert the Oakleigh home to be a hostel for families in need of emergency accommodation. But we would need many more Oakleighs now just to meet the increase in that need since that time.

The failure here, leading to the problem escalating, is a failure of policy. It is the welfare and housing policies of central Government that are failing to address the problem and leading to its escalation.

I could spend a long time detailing these failures – the bearing down on those already in poverty through the benefits freeze and through changes to support of those unable to work due to disability and illness, the introduction of Universal Credit in a way that is most concerned to save money, the loss of the Council’s stock of social housing due to the right to buy, the decline nationally in the construction of new Council houses and affordable homes, which we are trying to address here in Sutton with our ambitious programme to build the first new Council homes in 30 years. Changes to the Local Housing Allowance. The loopholes in planning law that enable developers such as those who refurbished Northumberland House in my Ward to evade requirements to provide any affordable homes atall. The list goes on. It is part of a war on what my generation cherished as the welfare state.

My colleague Councillor Fivey, who sadly cannot be here tonight, has had discussions with Nightwatch since the organisation was formed and assisted in their obtaining £586.13 from the Council through the Neighbourhood Grant programme to pay for the tent, a gazebo, from which they operate three nights a week in our Ward, providing food and help to rough sleepers and others without resources. Current discussions about the best practical further help for Nightwatch, and other organisations, will continue.

We all support the work of Nightwatch but there is no logic in expressing our support for organisations like Nightwatch while not mentioning what should be done to stop these problems occurring in the first place, which is to change Government policy.”