The meeting of Sutton Local Committee on 13 December in the Europa Gallery gave a large number of residents an opportunity to give their views on a range of local issues. It was encouraging to see so many of you there. If you missed it, the agenda and papers can be found here:
As it was only a couple of weeks before Christmas, we were treated to a range of carols sung by children from Westbourne and All Saints Benhilton Schools. Many thanks to them for getting the Christmas period off to a good start.
As usual, Marlene Heron chaired the meeting. There was a lively public question time. Residents can ask questions without giving notice, and we councillors, with Council officers, do our best to give on the spot answers. Among the concerns you raised were:
- Progress with the proposed school at Rosehill Park – identified as a likely site in the draft local plan, but no planning application yet. See here for more details.
- The future renewal of social housing, including Chaucer Gardens
- The next stage of the Parking Strategy. A Borough wide parking strategy was agreed by Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee in September, and the detail for our area will come to the June local committee.
Among the many issues on the agenda we discussed were:
- A presentation from officers on the heritage of the High St. This was of great interest, covering the history of Sutton Green, and Manor Park, and also discussion of the Prince Regent
- An update on the Westbourne School expansion, and on progress with the new high school at Belmont
- The discussion on public realm and neighbourhood grants included an update on the new notice boards and litter bins planned for Rosehill Park (the noticeboards are already up). Similarly for the new bench in Collingwood Rec. Consultations about litter bins near Greenshaw School had concluded that they would be best sited in Grennell Road. We approved funding for two signs in Oakhill Road to warn of pedestrians crossing, and annual maintenance costs for the gym equipment in Rosehill Park.
- Officers reported on the results of the consultation on the local plan. The conclusion had been that Sutton needed to meet the government’s target for more new homes, but only at the medium growth level. This would enable us to retain the suburban feel and open space of the area, while restricting most new housing to the town centre. The local plan also made the case for improved public transport, and incorporated the plans for the London Cancer Hub and the Town Centre Masterplan. The Sutton West site (in Robin Hood Lane) had been safeguarded in case it was needed for a new primary school. The idea of a Gypsy and Travellers’ site at Kimpton Road had been dropped in favour of expanding and improving the existing site in Woodmansterne. The draft local plan would be subject to public consultation from 9 Jan to 24 Feb, prior to being sent for approval by the Secretary of State.
All in all another busy meeting. Sutton Local Committee meets four times a year to discuss issues affecting our area. Meetings are open to residents, who are invited to take part in the discussions, though only councillors can vote. There is a public question time. The next meeting is on Tues 14 March at 7pm at the Salvation Army Hall, Benhill Avenue. All are welcome.