North Cheam eyesore Victoria House has been sold to developers
Businesses and residents in North Cheam have welcomed news the much-maligned former shopping centre Victoria House will be redeveloped.
Victoria House in North Cheam has been a blot on the landscape since the shopping centre closed in 2006.
The boarded-up building led to the area being named in the top 10 most derelict town centres in the country last year.
But it has now been sold to a buyer who, it is understood, will look to redevelop it as a housing and shopping development.
Businesses are hoping the sale will help regenerate the area, although some are sceptical of the development.
Steve Eldridge, who runs Steve’s Card Shop in London Road, said: “We would be grateful if this went ahead, but there have been a few false starts at Victoria House so I can’t help being a little sceptical.
“If it is a big supermarket which has bought it, they buy places and just sit on the site, Victoria House needs redeveloping.”
Paul Cawthorne, from Sutton Chamber of Commerce called the sale “brilliant news for the whole area”.
North Cheam and Worcester Park recently secured more than £1m for further regeneration from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund.
Sutton Council is hopeful the funding, along with the development of Victoria House, will bring major improvements to the area.
Last year a survey conducted by the Local Data Company found more than a quarter of North Cheam’s retail premises were empty.
Councillor Jayne McCoy, Sutton Council planning spokeswoman, said: “For years business owners and residents have been telling us what a blot on the landscape Victioria House has become, and we have been working hard to stimulate interest in the site.
“Once a serious offer was made by a developer we have been encouraging the owner to complete negotiations.
“We have worked hard to secure investment in North Cheam, and the money we successfully bid for from the Outer London Fund sends out a clear message to developers that we are willing to invest in our high streets and district centres.”