Residents speak out about plans for Sutton car park
Commuters and residents have reacted angrily to plans to sell off Brighton Road car park to an engineering firm.
Subsea 7, a multinational seabed-to-surface contractor, announced last week it intends to level the building to make way for a state of the art office block, creating about 350 jobs.
Sutton Council will vote on whether to sell the building next month.
According to the council, the remaining two council run car parks, Gibson Road and Times Square, will be able to take the strain were Brighton Road and its 630 spaces were to go.
A council report shows that at peak times (weekdays between 11am and 1pm) on average 60 per cent of spaces were used and it remained "almost empty on Saturdays."
Christopher Walton, a regular commuter to Sutton, disagrees, claiming it is a "short-sighted" decision.
He said: "I cannot recall a time when the car park was not in heavy use. I take issue with the argument that there are other car parks in Sutton town centre are not utilised.
This is space designed to attract shoppers to Sutton. If I were a retailer I would be annoyed that facilities for potential customers could be taken up by office workers."
Sutton Councillor Tony Shields believes businesses will not move to Sutton in the future because there will be nowhere to park near the train station.
Kay Hevey, from Carshalton Beeches, said she was "appalled" to hear the news. She said: "There are so many empty offices that could be converted for Subsea 7 without taking a vital benefit away from the residents of Sutton and the surrounding area."
"I shall be doing everything I can to oppose this planning application and I hope that everyone else will as well."
Councillor Jayne McCoy, business spokeswoman for the council. said: "This is an opportunity to create hundreds of jobs for local people and in turn support existing businesses in the borough.
We have declared that Sutton is open for business and we will strive to seize those opportunities that will bring positive benefits for the area and for our residents."