Notorious North Cheam eyesore Victoria House in London Road finally set to be demolished in August

Sutton Guardian: Victoria House Victoria House

A property developer has pledged to demolish a notorious North Cheam eyesore later this year.

Victoria House at the crossroads of London Road and Malden Road has been derelict for years and has fallen into such bad disrepair in recent months that a window tumbled down and smashed in the pavement, narrowly missing passers-by.

Developer Stonegate Homes was given planning permission for a multi-million pound redevelopment of the site last year but it was feared the plans could be scrapped after the site was put on the market in August.

However, Stonegate said the delay in the project was caused by in-fighting between Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors over section 106 payments but that dispute has been settled.

It is thought development could start in August.

Victoria House has been empty since 2006. Since then it has gradually declined and has been subject to repeated vandalism.

Sutton Guardian:

How the building should look in the future

Sutton Council spent £7,000 on painting a pattern on the exterior of the building in 2012. Last year Stonegate was given planning permission to replace the building with a modern eight-storey block made up of 75 homes and shops.

Hold ups had fuelled fears the development was off the cards but Stonegate's land director James Fitzgerald said work should start in August.

He said: "We're in partnership with Home Group, a housing association.

"It will be a mixed development of private flats and retail and we're due to start work in August, we're very close to starting.

"It was in doubt because the council was very hard to negotiate with on section 106 payments, there was a lot of internal fighting between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, but it's on track now."

Victoria House is at the crossroads of London Road and Malden Road

Mr Fitzgerald said the building has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who have started fires and broken windows despite security guards visiting six times each day.

One episode of vandalism led to a broken window falling from the building and smashing in the pavement of London Road earlier this year.

One passer-by who asked not to be named said: "It didn't hit anyone but it could have been so much worse.

"That's a busy area for pedestrians and if it landed on someone they could have been killed."

Following the incident Sutton Council is understood to have served a notice on Stonegate ordering it to secure the building better and this work has been carried out.


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Comments (10)

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12:31pm Wed 23 Apr 14

ResidentTony says...

Better late than never.
Better late than never. ResidentTony
  • Score: 14

1:20pm Wed 23 Apr 14

LiberalsOut says...

I find it hard to believe Sutton Council was hard to deal with
I find it hard to believe Sutton Council was hard to deal with LiberalsOut
  • Score: 6

10:25pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Launchballer says...

I do not agree that small shops are the best call for this plot. A branch of Aldi would be very good there because it is the only major supermarket we do not have anywhere near this area (or anywhere near the area) and other branches are too far away.
I do not agree that small shops are the best call for this plot. A branch of Aldi would be very good there because it is the only major supermarket we do not have anywhere near this area (or anywhere near the area) and other branches are too far away. Launchballer
  • Score: 4

1:39pm Thu 24 Apr 14

fargis says...

Now for about half a dozen buildings in Sutton that are empty, starting with Sutherland House.
Now for about half a dozen buildings in Sutton that are empty, starting with Sutherland House. fargis
  • Score: 1

2:12pm Thu 24 Apr 14

ResidentTony says...

In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??).

Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?).
In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??). Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?). ResidentTony
  • Score: 4

3:09pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Giles C says...

ResidentTony wrote:
In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??).

Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?).
I'd like to say to Resident Tony that these property deals happened in spite not because of Sutton Council.
In answer to a question at the last full council meeting Cllr Mccoy answered that there was no inward investment strategy for Sutton in the previous 10 years nor had they tried to stop businesses leaving the borough...a total gross dereliction of the residents of the borough.
Listen to the recording of her answer...
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??). Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?).[/p][/quote]I'd like to say to Resident Tony that these property deals happened in spite not because of Sutton Council. In answer to a question at the last full council meeting Cllr Mccoy answered that there was no inward investment strategy for Sutton in the previous 10 years nor had they tried to stop businesses leaving the borough...a total gross dereliction of the residents of the borough. Listen to the recording of her answer... Giles C
  • Score: 3

3:55pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Paul Scully says...

Sutherland House is underway as well. The owner got fed up with dealing with the council and is redeveloping the building under permitted development. That means he will only need planning permission to change the exterior of the building or to build further floors. Giving a kick start to developments such as this was exactly what the change in planning guidance was designed to do.

I met the owner before Christmas and he promised that work would start on Sutherland House before Easter. That he has done, now let's see what the end result is. Hopefully something befitting the landmark site at the edge of the town centre.

It's good to see that work has started but it means that the council has lost out on Section 106 money that the developer would have had to pay towards local infrastructure. This financial loss to the town is the price paid for a lack of strategic planning for Sutton. Giles C is right, these developments would have happened anyway with the exception of Subsea 7 as they bought a council-owned car park.
Sutherland House is underway as well. The owner got fed up with dealing with the council and is redeveloping the building under permitted development. That means he will only need planning permission to change the exterior of the building or to build further floors. Giving a kick start to developments such as this was exactly what the change in planning guidance was designed to do. I met the owner before Christmas and he promised that work would start on Sutherland House before Easter. That he has done, now let's see what the end result is. Hopefully something befitting the landmark site at the edge of the town centre. It's good to see that work has started but it means that the council has lost out on Section 106 money that the developer would have had to pay towards local infrastructure. This financial loss to the town is the price paid for a lack of strategic planning for Sutton. Giles C is right, these developments would have happened anyway with the exception of Subsea 7 as they bought a council-owned car park. Paul Scully
  • Score: -6

4:18pm Thu 24 Apr 14

ResidentTony says...

Thank you Mr Scully. I am very glad to hear that work on Sutherland Ho, the last piece in the jigsaw, is now underway too. But I hope that people in politics will understand that we the residents do not care too much how things happen, just that they do happen! It's a pity the Conservatives and Libs Dems apparently don't get on better locally. It's different at national level with the coalition holding firm longer than many people thought it would.
Thank you Mr Scully. I am very glad to hear that work on Sutherland Ho, the last piece in the jigsaw, is now underway too. But I hope that people in politics will understand that we the residents do not care too much how things happen, just that they do happen! It's a pity the Conservatives and Libs Dems apparently don't get on better locally. It's different at national level with the coalition holding firm longer than many people thought it would. ResidentTony
  • Score: 1

7:34pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Paul Scully says...

ResidentTony, beyond all the bluster we get on just fine on the whole. We all want the place to be the best we can make it but we often disagree on how. There are a number of things that the council is doing now that I first put forward in our 2010 council manifesto, so better late than never.

However my concern is about developing a strong strategic vision for the borough. When one party has nearly 80% of the councillors it can make for a complacent approach. That's been shown to be the case in a number of areas run by all three major parties.

There are a number of examples in Sutton where stronger leadership would have given us residents a better end result, saved money and quicker delivery of new services and development. A more representative balance on the council after May would make for better policy making I suspect.
ResidentTony, beyond all the bluster we get on just fine on the whole. We all want the place to be the best we can make it but we often disagree on how. There are a number of things that the council is doing now that I first put forward in our 2010 council manifesto, so better late than never. However my concern is about developing a strong strategic vision for the borough. When one party has nearly 80% of the councillors it can make for a complacent approach. That's been shown to be the case in a number of areas run by all three major parties. There are a number of examples in Sutton where stronger leadership would have given us residents a better end result, saved money and quicker delivery of new services and development. A more representative balance on the council after May would make for better policy making I suspect. Paul Scully
  • Score: -8

8:35am Fri 25 Apr 14

LiberalsOut says...

ResidentTony wrote:
In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??).

Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?).
Funny how these developments are announced as we approach election time, as for example the CNM site has been empty for years
I hope they have planned in new schools and car parking, especially as we are now one car park down
Still does not take away from the fact that the Lib Dems have ruined this Borough during their tenure
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: In response to the point made by fargis, could I just say that most the empty buildings in Sutton are in fact now about to be redeveloped. CNM Estates are already on site at Sutton Point in Sutton Court Road, where they are providing luxury apartments and a hotel, plus office and retail space. Work on the Old Gas works site is about to start any time. In addition, the former UCB office building is being converted into luxury flats,with work well advanced. And the site next to the Old Court House is being redeveloped. Finally, Subsea 7 are building their new UK HQ in Brighton Road just south of the High Street. Sutherland Ho is the only site where I believe things are less definite (unless Charlesmcg knows anything??). Regarding North Cheam, a supermarket clearly would be an option, but personally I'd prefer a restaurant or two (Pizza Express?) plus coffee house (Caffe Nero?).[/p][/quote]Funny how these developments are announced as we approach election time, as for example the CNM site has been empty for years I hope they have planned in new schools and car parking, especially as we are now one car park down Still does not take away from the fact that the Lib Dems have ruined this Borough during their tenure LiberalsOut
  • Score: 9

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