Change is coming to our area
Belmont and its surrounding area is experiencing extensive pressures for re-development and regeneration, which will have significant implications and challenges for the local environment, transport and the local economy.
This pressure is largely due to the aspirations of Sutton Council (the London Borough of Sutton) for additional affordable housing and for the planned London Cancer Hub (LCH) on the old Sutton Hospital site.
According to the Sutton Local Plan, the LCH could see the number of employees on the site rise from around 3,000 today to over 9,500 in the future. These changes will have a significant impact on the existing residential and business community within our area and will put an enormous strain on the local infrastructure. It is likely to overload roads, public transport, schools, health facilities, care homes and many more aspects of everyday life.
Other changes include:
A new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital that’s expected to open in 2025;
Pressure throughout the area to increase housing density;
Inappropriate developments in the Areas of Special Local Character (ASLCs);
The Harris Academy Sutton secondary school, that opened in 2018 and which has yet to reach its full capacity;
Handling the aftermath of COVID-19;
...to name just a few!
A plan for our future
In response to mounting local development pressures and to ensure that residents had a strong say in how the neighbourhood that we live and work in is developed, a Neighbourhood Forum has been created.
The Forum is a formally constituted body, recognised by Sutton Council, and is responsible for producing a Neighbourhood Plan, thereby enabling the local community to have a major say in determining its own future.
This Forum includes representatives from the four largest Residents Associations in the area, Ward Councillors and a number of local businesses. Its remit is to create a Neighbourhood Plan for our area.
The Forum has now completed the preparation of a draft Neighbourhood Plan for formal consultation and we need your views. Once adopted the policies in the Plan will be a material consideration for determining planning applications in our area.
With all these changes on the horizon, it is important that we are on the "front foot" and are not simply overwhelmed with what might happen. We could simply resist all change in the area and try to maintain the status quo, but this is unlikely to be successful. In any case, burying our heads in the sand would mean ignoring the opportunity to influence the changes.
But not everything is perfect in the area now; roads are congested, and public transport is poor. If planned properly, change, and the investment it should bring, could make our area better.
The 2011 Localism Act allows decision making to be passed to local communities who can develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood by preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
This is what we have done.
The Plan enables everyone who lives or runs a business in the local area to have their say.
What questions were asked?
What’s in our neighbourhood plan?
The sections in the Plan broadly follow the headings in Sutton Council’s Local Plan:
The Plan consists of over 90 Policies, Community Projects and Transport Proposals which are our ideas for improving the local area. A small selection of examples are shown below:
Planning Policies are probably the most important part of a Neighbourhood Plan. Only the Plan's policies will be taken into account when determining planning applications and will form part of the overall ‘Development Plan’. In the case of Sutton, the ‘Development Plan’ is compliant with current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and consists of the London Plan, the Sutton Local Plan and the adopted Neighbourhood Plans. Our planning policies will therefore be a material consideration when deciding whether a planning application should be approved or refused by the Council in its role as the Local Planning Authority.
Example Planning Policies are:
All necessary infrastructure improvements around the London Cancer Hub must be implemented before developments are occupied.
Housing Density in planning proposals must be sympathetic to the local area.
Proposals to protect and enhance our Local Shopping Centres are encouraged.
Protect trees and encourage new planting.
Minimise the impact of mobile phone masts.
Community Projects are improvements in the Area that the Plan proposes; these may be partly funded from the allocation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that is collected by Sutton Council.
Example Community Projects are:
Encourage suitable shops in our Local Centres.
Improve facilities in parks.
More planting to beautify the area.
Transport Proposals suggest improvements to the road network, to public transport (all modes) and to cycling and pedestrian facilities.
Example Transport Proposals are:
Redesign several road junctions.
Increase frequency of rail services to Belmont (and beyond) by dual tracking the line.
So that residents can see all of the improvements that they would like to see for our area in one place, we have separated the proposed Planning Policies, Community Projects and Transport Proposals but kept them together in the relevant sections of the Plan that they refer to. Whether a recommendation is a "Planning Policy", a "Community Project" or a "Transport Proposal" is indicated by the formatting of the box that contains it.
Planning Policies are shown in yellow boxes like this.
Community Projects are shown in green boxes like this.
Transport Proposals are shown in blue boxes like this.
NOTE: This version of the Neighbourhood Plan is a draft for consultation only and at this stage all of the Planning Policies, Community Projects and Transport Proposals it contains are proposals for residents to comment on.
What’s happened so far?
Formed a Steering Group with representatives from residents associations (Belmont & South Cheam RA, South Sutton Neighbourhood Association, Shanklin Village RA, Carshalton Beeches RA and including Banstead Village RA) and Ward Councillors.
Formally designated as a Neighbourhood Forum by Sutton Council in February 2016.
Held a number of open public meetings/workshops to gather issues and concerns in the Neighbourhood Area and analysed the results.
Developed draft proposals for improvements in the Neighbourhood Area.
Produced Area of Special Local Character (ASLC) Character Appraisals and associated design guidelines for South Cheam and South Sutton. These have already been adopted by Sutton Council.
Held workshops and public meetings with local residents and businesses to discuss and agree the priorities for these proposals.
Drafted the Neighbourhood Plan for public consultation.
Created this website (www.belmontvision.co.uk) and communication channels to feed back ideas for improvement.
What happens next?
Will it ever actually happen?
Yes! ...but only with your support.
The Forum has canvassed opinion widely and worked hard to capture the spirit and wishes of the people who live in and enjoy our neighbourhood. We firmly believe the Neighbourhood Plan represents the majority of the views within this community. If you’re a resident of the Neighbourhood Plan Area we need you to read the Plan and give us your feedback and support.
Most importantly we need your "Yes" vote in the referendum.
(You need to be on the electoral register to be able to vote).
Talk to us
We need to know what you want for our neighbourhood but there are over 5,000 households in the Plan Area and it's not practical for us to notify everyone by door drops every time we have something new to say.
If you want to get in touch and provide your input to the plan, there are a number of ways you can contact us:
Click here to send us your thoughts and comments
Talk to your local residents' association representative
Subscribe to e-Bulletin
Please give us your feedback by 22nd October 2021 so your comments can be considered for inclusion in the final version of the Plan.