A top judge has thrown out a bid to stop a town centre car park being converted into office space.

Sutton Council granted planning permission for Sutton-based engineering company Subsea7 to convert the Brighton Road car park into an office block to house a new project office.

Sutton Guardian: SubSea 7's plans for new offices in the Brighton Road car park

Plans for what Subsea7's new Brighton Road office could look like

But Sutton-based property developer Centro, which rents out commercial space around the town centre, attempted to prevent to development from taking place by taking the council's decision to grant planning permission to a judicial review.

During the judicial review a High Court judge looked at the processes by which planning permission had been granted to see if there were any flaws.

The judge did not find any such flaws and rejected the review while demanding Centro pays all the legal costs.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, chairwoman of the council's housing, economy and business committee, said: "The High Court’s decision vindicates our planning process.

"We now we have the green light to work with Subsea7 to ensure Sutton benefits from a major investment, new jobs and other economic opportunities.

"If Sutton’s economy is to compete with other London boroughs then we must do all we can to encourage employers to invest in our borough."

The ruling means Subsea7 can go ahead with its plans to house 780 jobs in the new development.

Just over 300 of those jobs will be relocated from the firm's existing base in Quadrant House near Sutton train station, but around 400 will come to Sutton from other parts of the business.

The council's decision to sell the car park to Subsea7 has been criticised as has the decision to take the car park out of use while the judicial review was pending on the grounds it places pressure on other car parks and cost more than £40,000 to secure the car park while it was closed.

Coun Tony Shields said: "The scheme for more jobs is sound but the loss of the car park is a serious handicap for future investment.

Sutton Guardian: Plans considered for building play area next to Brighton Road car park

Coun Shields at the Brighton Road car park

"The council should have helped Subsea7 with locating another suitable site.

"Now even B&Q is providing parking for office workers but very soon town centre capacity will be overcome by the sheer number of vehicles.

"Sutton has made a fundamental error in refusing to ensure future parking requirement is met.

"Still, under the Lib Dems the situation will only be used as an excuse to raise parking charges again and again.

"Trust the Lib Dems to botch what could and should have been a much better scenario for all."


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