Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

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

Town centre update

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 7 November, 2021

Sutton Local Committee on 11 November will be hearing an update on the Town Centre.  The details are here.

The town centre is changing.  There are two main reasons for this.  One is that the government has set the Borough a target of providing over 400 new homes a year.  To preserve the suburban character of the Borough and prevent crammed development in back gardens, the focus of much of the development is in the town centre where public transport and shopping facilities already exist.

The second challenge is that many people are now shopping on-line, and the effect is being felt in our lengthy High St which cannot support the number of shops we have had in the past.  Shops will continue to be important, but other uses – restaurants and cafes, leisure, entertainment and community facilities for children and families are also needed, so that a visit to the High St remains a pleasurable experience.

All of this was set out and consulted on in the Sutton Town Centre Masterplan a few years ago.

Over the last two years this vision has started to become reality.  930 new homes have been built, with major schemes at the Gas Works site and at Sutton Point.

The Council has made significant investment in Times Square and has bought the St Nicholas Shopping Centre.  The St Nicholas Centre is a key site, and in due course plans will be shared with residents to show how this can deliver social and community value, in collaboration with the health sector, as well as continuing to deliver quality retail.

We have secured significant external funding to deliver four schemes.  These will diversify the High St, provide cultural and workplace spaces, support the regeneration of Council housing in the town centre, and provide public realm improvements.

The plans include:

  • Developing the former Chicago Rock cafe nightclub (at the back of Wilkinson’s) into a venue providing performing arts education, studios for local companies and street food and a bar – work to begin next summer 
  • ‘Sutton Works’ – Providing co-working and studio space, with exhibition and community space in the upper floors of the former BHS store – work also to begin next summer
  • ‘Market House’ – the ground floor is already in use as The Sound Lounge. Other floors will be used for affordable workspace, the voluntary sector and a jobs hub.
  • improving the parallel road gyratory system – by improving pedestrian access to the High St, activating the side streets, and rejuvenating Trinity Square.
Ruth, Marlene and Steve in the High St

The High Street was the first in London to be a Heritage Action Zone.  This delivered a new Conservation Area, useful information about how the town centre has developed over time, refurbished three shop fronts to Conservation Area standards, and a restoration of the Cock cross roads sign.  We will ensure that the town centre heritage is protected, enhanced and made more visible as these schemes develop.

Ruth, Marlene and Steve

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