Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

Cllrs Ruth Dombey, Marlene Heron and Steve Penneck working hard for Sutton North all year round Learn more

Planning update: Helena House and the Prince Regent

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 18 November, 2019

Residents will recall that the developers of Helena House, opposite the Green, held an exhibition on 23 and 26 October setting out their proposals for development.  They are proposing a nine-storey block of flats, with the frontage along the line of the shops to the north.  The developer is currently seeking pre-application advice from Sutton’s planning officers, and we can expect a planning application in the spring.

We accept the need for development on this site.  The existing building is unattractive and in a poor state.  But we have a number of concerns about this development, which is on a key ‘gateway’ site opposite Sutton Green, marking the northern entrance to the town centre:

  • The proposed block is too tall – the current building is only six storeys
  • This gives a very unattractive northern flank wall
  • The building needs to be set back further from the road
  • There will need to be public realm improvements to the frontage, adding to the attraction of this location opposite the Green
  • There needs to be a good mixture of flats including some ‘affordable‘ units.
  • It needs to be clear that the occupants will not be entitled to residents’ parking permits for street parking.

The planning application for a six storey block of flats at the Prince Regent, now in a sorry state, was turned down by Sutton Council in April last year.  The developer went to appeal, and lost.  But many of Sutton’s concerns were overturned by the planning inspector.  The inspector refused the appeal only on the grounds of poor design, and that the car parking provision was in excess of what is needed and fails to encourage the use of alternative and more sustainable modes of transport.

This applicant is also in pre-application discussions with Sutton’s Planning Department and we can expect a revised planning application in the spring.

We will keep residents advised on the developments on these two important sites.

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