by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 20 October, 2021
Cllr Steve Penneck attended the recent appeal hearing for Helena House. Councillors on Sutton’s Planning Committee had refused the application to build a part-5, part-8 storey building with 41 flats on this site. See here for details.
The appeal hearing, which was held on-line on 12 October, focused on the impact of the development on the character and appearance of the area. The inspector considered the height (which is above the limit allowed by the Council’s Local Plan), the mass of the building, the intrusive balconies, public realm etc. Steve intervened to stress the historic value of Sutton Green, the popular children’s playground and the café mean that is well used. From the Green you can get clear views of Helena House, so the impact of such a large building would be dominating and out of character for the area.
The Inspector has made a couple of site visits and it will be a few weeks before we get her decision.
The developer has submitted a separate application for a change of use to flats. Details are here. This would retain the existing building, so no extra height, and would provide new facades and roof.
Your ward Councillors have heard from many residents about this application and like you, we would like this eye-sore site developed, but any application must be of high quality and pay attention to its important location opposite the Green, and at the entrance to the town centre.
Meanwhile, across the road we await the planning department’s views on the three applications that have been made to develop the Topps Tiles site.
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