Sutton town centre businesses welcome £140m development
Plans for two massive multi-million pound developments at opposite ends of Sutton High Street have been welcomed by local businesses.
At Tuesday's Sutton Local Committee meeting, two developers, CNM and LXB outlined plans to invest £130m to revamp the town centre.
Work on the two sites, Sutton Point next to the train station, and the gas works site at the bottom of the high street, could begin next year if planning permission in granted.
Businesses close to the sites have welcomed the news.
Bob Cole, a supervisor at the Cock and Bull pub just over the road from the proposed CNM development, said it is positive news, but was especially excited about proposals by an unnamed global company to base itself in Sutton Point, which is currently derelict.
He said: "Potentially having a large office block so close to us is brilliant news. With Christmas around the corner, we are seeing people coming here for their office Christmas lunch, so more office workers around means more business for us."
Mr Cole wasn't perturbed by the new competition from the proposed restaurants and cafés on the £80-£90m site. He said: "There may well be places on site, but I expect they will be wine bars, but having more people around in general will give the area a boost."
Neil Warne, a director at Burn and Warne estate agent on Sutton Court Road said although the plans were good news for the borough, sometimes a town can become a victim of its own success.
He said: "Any new development will bring people to the town, but there has to be the infrastructure in place, the train station will need an upgrade to cope with the influx of people the development will bring."
"From our point of view, more houses is good news, but the buyer profile needs to be right. Owner occupiers bring money into the area and would help make the development a success."
At the other end of town, businesses say the north end of the high street desperately needs investment.
Gary Crewe, a tyre fitter from Prestige Wheels who has lived in Sutton all his life, said that area of town has always been known for Burger King, and even that has disappeared.
"Anything to brighten up this place, its pretty dull down here and it has always been that way. Investment will completely change people's ideas about the area."
On November 30 and December 1, there will be a public exhibition on floor 7 of the Zurich building from developers LXB.