Sutton Council has agreed a vision for the future of Sutton Town Centre and a 15-year Masterplan to help make the vision a reality that includes redeveloping the Civic Centre area and transforming the gyratory system around the High Street.
The Masterplan will ensure that in these economically uncertain times the Town Centre continues to attract new business to invest in the centre and to provide shopping, services and local employment opportunities.
The Town Centre Masterplan follows an extensive eight-week consultation earlier this year that resulted in nearly 800 comments from local residents and businesses.
The vision will ensure that by 2031 Sutton Town Centre will be celebrated for its range of independent retailers, a vibrant and bustling range of arts, cultural and entertainment activities for people of all generations, diverse food and dining, and will stand out because of its strong local heritage.
In order to deliver this vision the Masterplan makes a commitment that Sutton Council will:
- Explore the redevelopment of the Civic Centre area to create new spaces for arts, culture and entertainment activities in the town centre as well as providing much-needed new homes.
- Work with the owners of the St Nicholas Shopping Centre to create new activity along St Nicholas Way, with shops, leisure and dining venues near the existing cinema;
- Work to help deliver new employment development at or above Sutton railway station to strengthen the existing focus for employment in Sutton, support existing local employers and boost the number of jobs in the town centre;
- Transform the gyratory road around the town centre on St Nicholas Way and Throwley Way into an urban boulevard lined with street trees and ensure that all new development facing onto it is of exceptionally high quality;
- Work with grant funders to secure a range of High Street projects to strengthen the centre of Sutton and improve the image of the town centre; and
- Work with Historic England and landowners on a plan to enhance the historic core of the Town Centre.
Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council, said:
“Sutton Town Centre is the lifeblood of our borough. We must support it to grow and provide more jobs and opportunities for our residents through major plans including the redevelopment of the Civic Centre area and the transformation of the gyratory into an urban boulevard.
“These will help us to create a distinctive Sutton and I want to thank everyone who took part in the consultation as they have helped to create the future of Sutton Town Centre.”
The Sutton Town Centre Masterplan covers the town centre area and complements the council’s Local Plan, which sets out a Vision for the whole of the borough. The Local Plan is currently being reviewed as part of Sutton Council’s wider vision for the whole of the borough in 2031-32 and is being prepared in the context of Sutton being a One Planet Borough with a proud identity as a green and environmentally-sustainable borough.
The Local Plan, which has detailed planning policies to help judge planning applications for new developments including those in the town centre, will be subject to a follow-up consultation in the autumn.
Bilfinger GVA (BGVA), one of the largest planning, development and regeneration advisers in the UK and Ireland, led the consortium that created the ambitious masterplan, which included Architecture 00, Urban Engineering Studio, and Allies and Morrison.
Jerry Freeman, Senior Director of Development at BGVA, said:
“The Sutton Town Centre Masterplan sets a strong, deliverable vision for the future of the Town Centre, with a clear direction for development and investment going forward to 2031. This provides the evidence and guidance to strengthen the competitive position of Sutton Town Centre as a key metropolitan centre in outer London.
“The Masterplan supports the council’s requirements and aspirations for the Town Centre. The council is now investigating ways to facilitate the Masterplan proposals through the use of its assets and its wider influence on development.”
The Town Centre Masterplan follows on from the Greater London Authority’s granting of Housing Zone status for Sutton Council’s Sutton One Housing Zone, which has identified 12 key sites for residential development in Sutton Town Centre and Hackbridge. The council has also set up a development company and investment vehicle to encourage businesses to invest in the borough.
During Sutton Council’s eight-week consultation 44 public events were held across the borough, of which nine had a specific focus on the town centre, including a youth consultation event, a breakout discussion session at Sutton Local Committee, an open exhibition and discussion forum in Sutton Town Centre and two staffed exhibitions on the High Street. There were also a number of business engagement events and one-to-one meetings with landowners.
The Town Centre Masterplan and associated technical reports will provide an evidence base for the Sutton Local Plan and will help promote Sutton town centre to external audiences. The Masterplan aims to strengthen the competitive position of Sutton town centre within outer London and help guide prospective developments, in line with the Council’s requirements and aspirations.
The Sutton Town Centre Masterplanning team was made up of:
- Bilfinger GVA, which has years of experience preparing high-profile masterplans, vision studies and development frameworks for town centres in London and across the south-east of England. Critically the team also includes surveyors, development finance specialists and economists to ensure that delivery mechanisms are also a key part of any masterplan.
- Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, an urbanism and architectural practice that was recently named Practice of the Year by the Architects Journal. Their architectural work has won 37 RIBA awards and has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. Their design expertise saw the organisation work on the London 2012 Olympics and Legacy Masterplans and a redevelopment framework for King’s Cross central station. Other projects include Swindon Town Centre, Letchworth Garden City, Rochester Riverside, and Wood Wharf, an eastward expansion of Canary Wharf.
- Architecture 00, an architectural practice shortlisted for the Young Architects of the Year Award that has innovative experience in terms of community engagement and curating under-used spaces to develop incubator office spaces and pop-up shops.
- Urban Engineering Studio, a specialist engineering and urbanism company that puts ‘place making’ first. Their skills have seen them commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency to address the issues highlighted by the highways-dominated area of the Temple Quarter in Bristol. Other projects include Growth strategy and masterplanning for urban extensions to the east of King’s Lynn, the Didcot masterplan and the Freshford neighbourhood plan.
One Planet Sutton is a vision for the borough where people lead happy, healthy lives with a fair share of the Earth’s resources. Sutton Council has committed to becoming a One Planet Borough by 2025. The council is working in partnership with a wide range of local voluntary and community groups to deliver this vision under the themes of cutting carbon emissions, cutting waste, valuing our natural environment, supporting healthy communities and supporting the local economy. Find out more about the One Planet Sutton initiative here.