Government sides with Sutton Council over former cannabis farm tower block in Brighton Road, Sutton
The government has sided with the council in a planning appeal over a town centre eyesore.
Criterion Capital, the developers of Sutherland House in Brighton Road, launched an appeal against the council over the building which hit the headlines in 2010 when it was found to be housing a £1.5m cannabis farm over four empty floors.
The proposed plans (picture by Philip Atkinson)
Sutton Council supported their re-development of Sutherland House but said they should provide some affordable homes and their proposed development was not an acceptable quality.
The Planning Inspector has now rejected the appeal stating there was sufficient profit to include affordable housing. They have awarded Sutton Council costs on the grounds of the unreasonable action of the developers.
However, Sutton South councillor Tony Shields said that although the council won their point it has cost them a “fortune” and waved off thousands in developer contributions
Coun Shields said: “The plan included money for various highway improvements including the possibility of a zebra crossing in Cedar Road – this money is now not going to be available from the developer.
“Sutton Council has won the point but Sutton residents have lost a fortune in funding as a result.”
Sutton South councillor, Richard Clifton, said: “The developer will make a lot of money from turning this building, close to the town centre and Sutton station, into luxury flats.
“The appraisal accepted by the inspector showed there can be some affordable housing included without threatening the financial viability of the project.
"As a councillor, I meet local families living in extremely overcrowded conditions and we desperately need more affordable housing.
“The building has been empty too long and I call on the developer to now get on with it and come up with a scheme that reflects the inspector’s decision."
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