Developer pulls plans to improve Sutton town centre eyesore at the last minute

Sutherland House

Sutherland House

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The rejuvenation of a town centre eyesore has been further delayed after the developer pulled its plans at the last minute.

Plans to redevelop Sutherland House in Brighton Road, which has been derelict except for a handful of shops on the ground floor for many years .

It was even home to one of the borough's largest cannabis factories.

The plans were due to be discussed and possibly given planning permission at a meeting tonight, but developer Criterion Capital withdrew the plans last week.

Sutherland House has been the subject of plans for redevelopment since 2008 but there have been hold ups along the way, notably Sutton Council refusing planning permission last year - a decision that was later backed by a Government inspector at an appeal.

The latest plans, which addressed previous concerns councillors had about affordable housing and the look of the scheme, were due to be discussed at Wednesday's development control committee and could have been given planning permission if members voted in favour.

Sutton South Councillor Richard Clifton had agreed to speak in favour of the plans at the meeting and said he was disappointed when they were withdrawn.

He added: "I supported these proposals for the re-development of Sutherland House. I call on the owners to make clear what their plans now are.

"With the uplift to the area that will come from the opening of the side entrance to Sutton station, the Sutton Gateway project and the prestige new Subsea7 headquarters, getting Sutherland House re-developed remains the final plank in the strategy to bring jobs, prosperity and good design to the area."

But Conservative Councillor Tony Shields thinks the development is still likely to go ahenad but will be done through 'permitted development', which allows devlopers to convert propertyies without the need for planning permission as long as they meet certain requirements. 

Coun Shields said: "The developer has clearly given up trying to get a planning approval accepted by Sutton Lib Dems and as such has told me he is going down the route of permitted development, granted strangely by Sutton Council outside of any committee in December to refurbish the property into flats.

"Now the developer need not pay anything to the council which for the various schemes he has been happy to do.

"Sutton lib Dems stubbornness has cost the local area some £600,000 in lost developer contributions to improve the wider area, a stupid stupid mistake borne out of political ideology being more important to them than financial reality.

"I would say it serves the Lib Dems right but once again the residents will be the ones losing out."

Criterion Capital, which had planned to provide shops and flats on the site, declined to comment.

 

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Comments (16)

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8:45am Wed 22 Jan 14

Simon Densley says...

There comes a point where the Lib Dem run Council has to stop blaming all these nasty businesses for not wanting to continue working with them and start asking what are they doing wrong which makes them so difficult to work with.
There comes a point where the Lib Dem run Council has to stop blaming all these nasty businesses for not wanting to continue working with them and start asking what are they doing wrong which makes them so difficult to work with. Simon Densley
  • Score: 19

8:48am Wed 22 Jan 14

Giles C says...

Criterion are not an easy company to work with..but having said that the likes of Richard Clifton and Jayne Mccoy dont help the situation by creating an adversarial atmosphere.
They try to bully their approach on businesses and that creates problems..roll on May...
Criterion are not an easy company to work with..but having said that the likes of Richard Clifton and Jayne Mccoy dont help the situation by creating an adversarial atmosphere. They try to bully their approach on businesses and that creates problems..roll on May... Giles C
  • Score: 11

8:58am Wed 22 Jan 14

pnathan001@aol.com says...

Not Jayne Mccoy and her gang up to it again ask them about how they bullied the residents that will have to live near to the old Oakleigh Care home how they were treated. 100% against still passed.
Not Jayne Mccoy and her gang up to it again ask them about how they bullied the residents that will have to live near to the old Oakleigh Care home how they were treated. 100% against still passed. pnathan001@aol.com
  • Score: 9

9:28am Wed 22 Jan 14

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

Well done Sutton Council. You've managed to stop this much needed redevelopment before it even got to planning. So proud. Still, Subsea7 will save the day. I wonder if there will be any planning objections there?
Well done Sutton Council. You've managed to stop this much needed redevelopment before it even got to planning. So proud. Still, Subsea7 will save the day. I wonder if there will be any planning objections there? Mr Flange of Wallington
  • Score: 13

10:09am Wed 22 Jan 14

Niki R says...

The Lib Dems made it easy for their friends at Viridor to build their hated and unnecessary incinerator, but give no encouragement to a developer who may actually bring jobs, homes and business opportunities to this neglected area of town. Remember this in May when you wonder if it's worth voting!
The Lib Dems made it easy for their friends at Viridor to build their hated and unnecessary incinerator, but give no encouragement to a developer who may actually bring jobs, homes and business opportunities to this neglected area of town. Remember this in May when you wonder if it's worth voting! Niki R
  • Score: 11

12:43pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Michael Pantlin says...

Niki R wrote:
The Lib Dems made it easy for their friends at Viridor to build their hated and unnecessary incinerator, but give no encouragement to a developer who may actually bring jobs, homes and business opportunities to this neglected area of town. Remember this in May when you wonder if it's worth voting!
Yes the incinerator decision is disgraceful and potentially very harmful to residents who need to breathe.
[quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: The Lib Dems made it easy for their friends at Viridor to build their hated and unnecessary incinerator, but give no encouragement to a developer who may actually bring jobs, homes and business opportunities to this neglected area of town. Remember this in May when you wonder if it's worth voting![/p][/quote]Yes the incinerator decision is disgraceful and potentially very harmful to residents who need to breathe. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 3

1:39pm Wed 22 Jan 14

benjybull says...

I moved into a flat very near Sutherland House in 2009 and was excited to learn that it will be redeveloped with a new look, shops, etc - 5 years down the line and it still looks exactly the same. This town makes me laugh, an absolute joke how many buildings and shops are just empty and abandoned, it makes Sutton look like a s**t hole! SORT IT OUT!
I moved into a flat very near Sutherland House in 2009 and was excited to learn that it will be redeveloped with a new look, shops, etc - 5 years down the line and it still looks exactly the same. This town makes me laugh, an absolute joke how many buildings and shops are just empty and abandoned, it makes Sutton look like a s**t hole! SORT IT OUT! benjybull
  • Score: 15

1:43pm Wed 22 Jan 14

LiberalsOut says...

Agree with all the above
There are elections in May so vote them out
For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop
With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it
The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used
Agree with all the above There are elections in May so vote them out For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used LiberalsOut
  • Score: 4

3:37pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Michael Pantlin says...

LiberalsOut wrote:
Agree with all the above
There are elections in May so vote them out
For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop
With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it
The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used
I agree but they're a weird lot of voters in Sutton & Carshalton. If the local candidate were a donkey, they would vote for it as long as it wore a yellow rosette.
[quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the above There are elections in May so vote them out For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used[/p][/quote]I agree but they're a weird lot of voters in Sutton & Carshalton. If the local candidate were a donkey, they would vote for it as long as it wore a yellow rosette. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 2

3:44pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Sutton53 says...

I just wish that people in Sutton in May will see the light and not act like sheep. Just think of the fence around the 'Brighton Road Car-Park' which blew down in the high winds and how much that is costing us as well as this latest debacle with Sutherland House. Having one of London's biggest 'Cannabis Factories' is not something to be proud of. No doubt Sutherland House will be an eye-sore for years to come. We need a change of 'Party' running this Council, which is so undemocratic that it should not hold the title Liberal Democrat !
I just wish that people in Sutton in May will see the light and not act like sheep. Just think of the fence around the 'Brighton Road Car-Park' which blew down in the high winds and how much that is costing us as well as this latest debacle with Sutherland House. Having one of London's biggest 'Cannabis Factories' is not something to be proud of. No doubt Sutherland House will be an eye-sore for years to come. We need a change of 'Party' running this Council, which is so undemocratic that it should not hold the title Liberal Democrat ! Sutton53
  • Score: 2

3:45pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Michael Pantlin says...

LiberalsOut wrote:
Agree with all the above
There are elections in May so vote them out
For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop
With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it
The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used
I remember clearly the £600,000 UCI Lib Dem bus shelter, the roughly hewn overpriced wooden animals for the high street and the log seat someone fell off,the concrete podium that people plunged over the edge of, the rewiring that electrocuted a stallholder, the Rose Hill totem pole, the grass roofed cafe and the grass walled Wilko while dementia accommodation was closed, and siabled people being told by social services when your bath lift cover wears out replace it at your own cost or use an old towel to sit on. Sutton Lib Dems have so much to be "proud" of.
[quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the above There are elections in May so vote them out For over 20 years they have destroyed this town and it has to stop With their majority any policy THEY want will be passed despite, as with Oakleigh Centre, 100% of locals against it The Subsea developement is on hold because of the Judicial Review but costing us a fortune in fencing and no revenue from a car park that could still be used[/p][/quote]I remember clearly the £600,000 UCI Lib Dem bus shelter, the roughly hewn overpriced wooden animals for the high street and the log seat someone fell off,the concrete podium that people plunged over the edge of, the rewiring that electrocuted a stallholder, the Rose Hill totem pole, the grass roofed cafe and the grass walled Wilko while dementia accommodation was closed, and siabled people being told by social services when your bath lift cover wears out replace it at your own cost or use an old towel to sit on. Sutton Lib Dems have so much to be "proud" of. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 7

5:35pm Wed 22 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

While I agree that this council is particularly awful, probably because it's LibDem, with their weird and dangerous ideology and a certain amount of complacency after 20 years in charge, I very much doubt a Labour or Conservative council would be much better. You only need to read the Rotten Boroughs section of Private Eye to see that they're all corrupt and inept whatever party gets in. There must be a better way of running things.
While I agree that this council is particularly awful, probably because it's LibDem, with their weird and dangerous ideology and a certain amount of complacency after 20 years in charge, I very much doubt a Labour or Conservative council would be much better. You only need to read the Rotten Boroughs section of Private Eye to see that they're all corrupt and inept whatever party gets in. There must be a better way of running things. GreenBrown
  • Score: 4

1:34am Thu 23 Jan 14

ResidentTony says...

Seems that supporting the LibDems in these Sutton Guardian comment boxes is a bit like being a Tory at Uni. It just isn't the *done thing*............
Seems that supporting the LibDems in these Sutton Guardian comment boxes is a bit like being a Tory at Uni. It just isn't the *done thing*............ ResidentTony
  • Score: 6

2:15am Thu 23 Jan 14

ResidentTony says...

I am so disappointed by this whole Sutherland House debacle/saga that I am speechless on the topic.

Thank goodness the redevelopment in Sutton Court Road of UCB House (into Leben Court) at least is fully underway.
I am so disappointed by this whole Sutherland House debacle/saga that I am speechless on the topic. Thank goodness the redevelopment in Sutton Court Road of UCB House (into Leben Court) at least is fully underway. ResidentTony
  • Score: 3

5:13pm Thu 23 Jan 14

ResidentTony says...

........Having read Mike Pyle's article again I am no longer as disappointed as I was. The Sutherland House development IS apparently still going ahead (although no thanks to the local Council it seems).
........Having read Mike Pyle's article again I am no longer as disappointed as I was. The Sutherland House development IS apparently still going ahead (although no thanks to the local Council it seems). ResidentTony
  • Score: 3

8:11pm Sat 25 Jan 14

charlesmcg says...

I am very disappointed with this news. I was counting on this development moving first in the upgrade/improvement of South Sutton. Having said that, the latest plan were toned down and the current plans are not very exciting visually. This battle between the Council and Criterion has not been helpful although Councillor Clifton has at least been honourable.. The new law on Permitted Development does not give Criterion carte blanche to bypass Planning Law and do what they want. They will still need Planning permission to change the external cladding and to deal with flooding, contamination, travel, retail upgrades, etc. And the Council has to give prior approval. Worrying, if this proceeds (and the Council has to powers to stop it) then S106 payments to help develop the local infrastructure are NOT collected and CIL cannot be collected. Criterion must believe that there is a better way to realise full value from this site – they will either sell and let someone else try or otherwise play the system and go for the Permitted Development route. They need to have balls to do the latter and LBS will watch them all the way.

Lets hope that Subsea 7 get moving again soon. Even with the ongoing JR delay (which I guess might still be months), they are now likely to be the first to start in the South Sutton ward on the Brighton Road. And why hasn’t Southpoint started yet ? I am really looking forward to watching that go up – note that the Developer did it properly and will be paying S106 and CIL. And UCB is moving too!.
I am very disappointed with this news. I was counting on this development moving first in the upgrade/improvement of South Sutton. Having said that, the latest plan were toned down and the current plans are not very exciting visually. This battle between the Council and Criterion has not been helpful although Councillor Clifton has at least been honourable.. The new law on Permitted Development does not give Criterion carte blanche to bypass Planning Law and do what they want. They will still need Planning permission to change the external cladding and to deal with flooding, contamination, travel, retail upgrades, etc. And the Council has to give prior approval. Worrying, if this proceeds (and the Council has to powers to stop it) then S106 payments to help develop the local infrastructure are NOT collected and CIL cannot be collected. Criterion must believe that there is a better way to realise full value from this site – they will either sell and let someone else try or otherwise play the system and go for the Permitted Development route. They need to have balls to do the latter and LBS will watch them all the way. Lets hope that Subsea 7 get moving again soon. Even with the ongoing JR delay (which I guess might still be months), they are now likely to be the first to start in the South Sutton ward on the Brighton Road. And why hasn’t Southpoint started yet ? I am really looking forward to watching that go up – note that the Developer did it properly and will be paying S106 and CIL. And UCB is moving too!. charlesmcg
  • Score: 3

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