Latest news from the Sutton North ward

Lots of news to report from the Sutton North ward, where I am a councillor.

The pedestrian crossing on Sutton Common Road will be built on Monday; Sutton Garden Suburb are to get new heritage lamp-posts; the Vicarage Road parking scheme gets the go-ahead; a new site is found for the neighbourhood recycling centre on Sutton Green to deal with flytippers; and after lobbying the developers planning the new Sainsbury’s store have agreed not to use Vale Road as an access entrance.

Sutton Common Road pedestrian crossing to be built on Monday

At last! The new pedestrian crossing on Sutton Common Road is to be built on Monday!

This has been an on-going issue for a while so it will be a mighty relief to see the works actually take place.

In March we erected new flashing LED signs warning drivers travelling at over the 30mph speed limit (pictured) however this proved to be only a limited success.

The orginal plan to build a pedestrian crossing fell because residents immediately affected lodged objections. However local councillors were firmly of the view that there was a very real and serious issue with speeding and continued to pursue solutions. It’s an issue I have been particularly involved with.

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New heritage lighting for Sutton Garden Suburb

Sutton Garden Suburb are to get new heritage lamp-posts after I pushed for it at the Sutton Local Committee on Tuesday.

I made a plea to fellow councillors to approve the £15,000 funding needed to complete the second phase of installing the heritage lighting. As a result the scheme was taken off the ‘reserved’ list and was approved.

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Vicarage Road parking scheme gets go-ahead

More good news! The long-awaited parking improvements to Vicarage Road have now got the go-ahead!

These plans involve the creating of new parking spaces to ease the parking pressure on the road.

Some bays will be coverted from visitors only to a shared residents and visitors, and a motorcycle bay which is not regularly used by any bikes will become a residents space.

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Vale Road won’t be an access road for Sainsbury’s!

Great news for Vale Road! Developers have ditched plans to use Vale Road as an access road for the planned new Sainsburys. This is an issue I have raised with LXB, the company which owns the land, and I am glad they have listened.

In fact LXB have had a number of representations about the access road issue. However at Tuesday’s Sutton Local Committee Chris Evans from LXB announced that they were no longer considering Vale Road as one of the options to access the site.

I’m sure this will be a huge relief to local residents, as it is to me!

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Flytipping on Sutton Green recycling site – a solution is found!

My ward colleague Cllr Ruth Dombey has been taking a lead on dealing with the flytipping issue on the recycling site at Sutton Green, next to the old toilet block.

The issue came up at the Sutton Local Committee this Tuesday (see link) with the question thrown open about what to do. The three options were:

  1. Keep the recycling site as it is but do more monitoring;
  2. Remove the mixed dry recycling bins but leave the other bins for materials that cannot be recycled at home (eg. clothes, books);
  3. Remove the recycling site altogether.

After some discussion we decided on a different option! We will remove the mixed dry recycling bins from Sutton Green – as per option 2 – but will relocate those bins to another site nearby (exact position to be determined).

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Vermont Road parking (update)

I am meeting residents of the Dorothy Pettingell House sheltered housing complex next Wednesday along with the local MP Paul Burstow to talk about the parking situation in the road.

As I reported last month (see link) I helped push the Council’s Environment and Neighbourhood Committee to make an exception to their rule about protecting grass verges so that we could create desperately needed parking spaces on the road.

The exceptional circumstances are that fire engines and refuge trucks are sometimes unable to gain access to the road because cars are blocking their way due to extreme parking pressure. Residents of the sheltered housing block are clearly worried about a fire engine or ambulance not being able to reach them.

We will be organising a general consultation for all residents of Vermont Road very shortly (some details have changed since we last spoke to them!), and if residents are happy the scheme should get final approval at the next Sutton Local Committee on 15th January.

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Bushey Road – do we need a crossing next to bus garage?

I have raised the idea of a new pedestrian crossing on Bushey Road by the Bus Garage (pictured) after a local resident suggested this to me.

Council traffic officers have been looking into it – indeed I had a site visit with them recently – and sadly they advise that it is not practical to install a crossing here due to the shape of the junction. They also advise that pedestrian islands are not recommended because of space needed for turning buses.

I have mixed views about this.

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Collingwood Road – residents object to crossing plan

Local councillors have now received the results of the official consultation into the proposal to install a new pedestrian crossing on Collingwood Road near the junction of Chaucer Road, particularly for the benefit of elderly residents crossing from their sheltered housing to Milton House.

Collingwood Road is busy at the best of times and is used as a route for ‘off-duty’ buses heading to the garage as well as a normal bus route. So I have a lot of sympathy with the elderly residents.

Sadly the results of consultation of the properties that would be immediately affected by a pedestrian crossing was almost unanimously against the idea.

However there is still an issue about crossing the road, and so I plan to get together with my ward colleagues to see if there are any other solutions to this problem.

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Scouts get grant to fix hut

I was pleased that the North Sutton Scout Group, based in Stayton Road, have been awarded a grant of £2,000 by the local Council for essential work to their scout hut.

Scout leader Andrew Gorley (pictured above) and some young scouts attended the Sutton Local Committee this Tuesday to speak about their activities, including a range of adventure trips.

Last month they hosted a ‘Love Where You Live’ event sponsored by McDonalds, which is usually aimed at cleaning litter to improve the neighbourhood and promoting a message of not dropping litter.

However this year I was delighted they extended their activities on the day to include building a flowerbed.

The Scouts have already raised £4,000 towards improvements to the hut (one of the halls is out of use because of roof problems) and the Council grant from our Public Realm money should be enough to complete the job!

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Hotel plan for old Burger King site fall through

I was saddened to hear that plans to build a Travelodge hotel on the old Burger King drive-through have apparently been dropped. Not because I have any great desire to see a Travelodge, but because the site is likely to remain derelict for a longer period.

Burger King closed many months ago and it became a magnet for flytipping until I lobbied the developers to erect a large fence, which thankfully they did!

We need to do all we can to find a good use for the site, either as a residential development or a use that creates local jobs and with a building that enhances the north end of the High Street.

With plans on course for a major Sainsbury’s store, hotel and retail across the road, the old Burger King plot takes on added importance as a development opportunity.

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By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway

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