Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Wallington Square gets planning approval

I am pleased to report that the application for Wallington Square received planning permission at last night’s Development Control Committee.

The application proposed to convert the derelict offices at the front of the square into flats and to make improvements to the entrance of the square making it a much more attractive retail space.

 Colin, Richard & I, as your Wallington South Ward Councillors, welcomed this application as the square is badly in need of a facelift and its improvement will have a beneficial effect on Wallington town centre.

I attended the committee meeting to speak in support of the application.

Mr Rowland, the owner of Richard Marks, a shop within the square, attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of local traders. He spoke eloquently of the desperate need to improve the square to encourage new business to the area and make Wallington the community hub it has the potential to be. He felt that this was the last opportunity to see investment in the square as he had experienced previous owners try and fail to come up with an acceptable scheme.

 Mr Billin, self-appointed leader of the Heathdene Residents Group, spoke against the application. I was surprised at this as Mr Billin has long complained that nothing is being done to help improve Wallington as a shopping district. He objected to the additional floor and the conversion of the empty offices into flats. His claim to speak on behalf of over one thousand residents who objected to the flats was discredited by the committee when it turned out that he was referring to objections to a previous application to erect a tower block at the rear of the square, at an exhibition held two years before the current application was submitted. He was also unable to distinguish between the drawing showing the proposed plans and the existing building which undermined his claim that the additional floor would be overbearing.

 I talked of how, ever since becoming councillor for Wallington South, I have had residents and local businesses complain about the state of the square. In its current state it puts off customers and drags down the whole town centre. The conversion of the offices into flats would not only improve the look of the front of the square but would also provide flats in the town centre, helping to reduce the pressure for flats in the surrounding areas of Wallington. Together with the improvements to the retail space this seemed to be an acceptable proposal that would have a very favourable impact on the town centre.

 After the meeting I learned that this application should be considered as phase one of the refurbishment of the square as with the acceptance of this application we can expect future proposals to improve the rear of the square. I shall look forward to seeing these plans in due course.

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January 21, 2010 - Posted by | Information

9 Comments »

  1. Having been raised in wallington, I have witnessed the area at its worst and it has been great to see the improvements made over the last few years and I think the proposals to the Square can only be good news. ALthough, I really hope it is tastefully done – I’d recommend getting CABE advice.

    Comment by joanna | March 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. I am delighted to hear of plans for rebranding the square as it has detiorated even with good quality shops housed there. I avoid passing through sometime as it looks deserted. The Richard Marks shop is one of the best quality mens clothing stores in the whole of London.
    Wallington have a good crop of elderly people living in the area so stores that can interest them would be a boon.
    Why is it not possible for the centre to be covered with translucent materials so people can seat in the middle spaces to relax whilst shopping.

    Comment by Coker | April 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. It would be good if Wallington and the surrounding areas long association with lavender growing could not be used as a theme for the refurbishment. Also, I think Wallington needs another really good coffee shop. Cafe Nero in the high street is good but always busy, another good quality coffee shop in the square with outdoor seating for the summer will I think bring more people into the square. If we just have the cheap pound shops nothing will really change.

    Comment by Keith T | April 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. I welcome the development of what can only be described as a run down blight on an architecturally interesting and unique town centre. My concern for the redevelopment is that a lot of emphasis is being placed on Wallington as a shopping venue, considering we are placed between, Croydon and Sutton, the shops will have to be better or more ‘unique’ to keep people from Wallington going to these places and help attract those from other areas. A cultural element should be considered e.g. a small gallery that brings audiences to Wallington or an arts project space with a rolling event program, this has proved successful in Hull in south yorkshire, Peckham, and most emphatically in the east end of london, regeneration can not just be based on ‘shopping’,

    Comment by tom | September 8, 2010 | Reply

    • I agree, but it seems these days, no one wants to think ‘out side of the box’ and we get the same stale ideas.
      Wallington Square clearly does not work as a shopping venue.

      Comment by Des | March 23, 2012 | Reply

  5. I am glad that at last something is going to be done about Wallington square, it has been in quite a bad state of neglect for many years especially the far end near the Sainsbury’s. I actually e-mailed Tom Brake MP for Wallington and carshalton some time ago to ask about the future of the square and when it’s facelift was likely to happen. I told Mr Brake that the square was an eyesore and it must put many people off of visiting Wallington to shop. Lets hope the work starts in the not to distance future. I was not aware that the Square and some of the surrounding area was built in the 1960’s, i found some photos on the internet about Wallington taken by a man called Francis Frith who was a resident of Wallington at the time and some of the photos were of Woodcote road and Wallington square, Wallington then looked so nice and peaceful with hardly any traffic how times change.

    Comment by Carole Heath | October 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. We live in Rosswood Gardens and although we were told of plans to build flats at the end of the square.My neighbours and i have never been informed that the offices over the sqaure and our gardens were being turned into to flats.I have spoke to two men from panning,both were rude and both told me different stories as to who would be living in the flat.The last year has been a nightmare and like livinig on a building site! The third floor is so high and it would have been nice to be informed of this as we had lots of information through the our door when the Cannon court site was being built and this is was not even near our road!.

    Comment by Anonymous | February 23, 2012 | Reply

    • We have now made contact and I have undertaken to investigate why you were not notified of the plans.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | February 25, 2012 | Reply

    • You should have been better informed I agree. I have heard the rumour about the flats myself. I went past the Square today from the back end of the square off Clarendon and Rosswood gardens road. The site has been demolished where the housing place and the Tapas bar once was and most of the rubble cleared I think. Another rumour I have heard is there is going to be a park there somewhere and parking spaces. Yes it must be difficult for people living near the site all the noise etc. Personally I think for what it worth Wallington is being spoilt by over- development.

      Comment by Carole Heath | November 1, 2014 | Reply


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