There are a few things that indicate when an area is on the rise: one is the presence of cranes overhead, the other is estate agents Barnard Marcus moving into town. We have both of these in Wallington as work on the redevelopment of Wallington Square continues, and Barnard Marcus has moved into one of the units at Canon House.
The owners of Wallington Square decided the time was right to invest in redevelopment following our own investment into improving Wallington town centre. This is part of a borough-wide initiative, Opportunity Sutton, the council’s programme of work aimed at growing and supporting the borough’s existing businesses and attracting new investment. A key part of the programme is investing in key areas, like Wallington, to make them more attractive to shoppers and therefore boost local business.
One of the other things that make Wallington attractive is the hanging baskets and flower troughs that local people have championed and the council funded through its local committee public realm funding scheme.
As well as Barnard Marcus there have been other new businesses moving into Wallington including Byrnes Pie & Eel Shop, Paddy Power, a new florist in the Square, the Cactus Grill, Sue Ryder, Cox’s Pippin, a new cake shop in Stafford Road and the Wallington Arms which has taken over from the Jon Jackson. The pub is a particularly pleasing addition as it is a very welcoming community pub which also puts on live music and good food.
Since the town centre improvements local people have told us that they have returned to shop in Wallington, the parking is plentiful and the shopping area is particularly good for people with disabilities to navigate.
Richard Mark Menswear who are located in Wallington Square are keen to highlight that they are open for business as usual whilst the redevelopment work is ongoing and they will remain a key store in the square once it has been redeveloped.
As these before and after pictures show, the area between Crosspoint House and Sainsburys looks much tidier thanks to the owners of Crosspoint House agreeing to deal with the overgrown shrubbery that was attracting litter in this area following a request from your ward councillors.
We have asked the council to now look at improving the areas around the trees close to Rosemount Tower as these too are overgrown with shrubs and weeds and attract litter. We are hoping to replace the weeds with either grass or pebbles.
Whilst pleased to see work started on site to redevelop Wallington Square, residents have noted that since one building has been demolished the rear of the square is now very dark. This is especially problematic with it being the time of year when it gets dark very early and when people are travelling home from school and work.
In response to residents’ concerns we asked the Council’s planning department to contact the developers to ask them to rectify the problem.
I am pleased to advise that the contractors responded promptly saying that they will have battery powered lighting installed within the week. They noted that there is no power supply on site so the alternative would be a generator, however they were reluctant to use that as it may cause a noise nuisance.
It is very pleasing to have considerate and responsive contractors working in our borough.
We hope that this will make people feel a little safer as they use the square.
I was out and about delivering in Wallington yesterday and managed to get drenched in a downpour. However it proved a useful exercise in checking for blocked drains and gullies.
I identified some flooding in Wallington Square and have arranged for the drains here to be cleaned, and I had reported to me blocked drains in Avenue Road and Hall Road, which I have also asked to be investigated.
A good chunk of the money that was spent on Wallington town centre was for five large soakaways. These are a less evident part of the improvements but it is very pleasing to note that they are doing their job well and we have not had a recurrence of the major flooding under the railway bridge since they were installed.
I also came across the signpost for Mulberry Mews pointing in the wrong direction, and flytipping in the alleyway in Ross Parade, both of which I have asked to be addressed by the council. The flytipping of rubbish in the Ross Parade alleyway is a continuing and pernicious problem and is causing great concern to the residents who use this public walkway to access their properties. Various measures have been undertaken but it is proving difficult to identify who is responsible. If anyone does have any information please do contact the council. This is unhygienic, unsightly and unfair to others who do dispose of their rubbish responsibly
I was very pleased to be invited to join Tony Rowland and Jeremy Sandford in celebrating 50 years of their retail store Richard Marks, located in Wallington Square.
A dinner in honour of this milestone had been organised by the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) at the Croydon Park Hotel.
Tony and his wife were joined by family, friends and business acquaintances and expressed their pride, and surprise, at the continued success of their business.
Exciting new plans to redevelop Wallington Square in Wallington high street have been submitted and are out for consultation.
The square has been looking very tired for years with a number of empty units and needs redeveloping to be able to attract new businesses. Work was done recently to turn the derelict offices facing onto the high street into affordable residential flats and this has been a vast improvement to the main entrance to the square, so we are pleased that the owners are now looking to address the rest of the square.
Cllr Hall and I met with the architect to learn about their plans. We understood that in order to make the redevelopment financially feasible it needed to incorporate additional housing units. Previous proposals had looked at building a tower block to rival Rosemount Tower, but this was rejected after strong objections from local residents, and from your ward councillors, as we felt it would be too overbearing on neighbouring properties and did not provide sufficient parking space. The new proposal has tried to be much more sympathetic to the neighbouring properties by incorporating two blocks of three story flats on top of the retail units – effectively making them four storeys high, with green amenity space and parking facilities. We talked with the architect about the importance of minimising overlooking of properties in Rosswood Gardens – the nearest residential street that would be impacted.
As well as improving the retail units there is a proposal to cover the square with a transparent canopy.
The full plans can be viewed on the Planning section of the council website and are listed under reference D2013/67339. Your comments can be submitted online through the council’s Online Planning Register, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posted to Development Services, Environment & Leisure, 24 Denmark Road Carshalton SM5 2JG. Do be sure to include the reference.
The developers also have a dedicated website which gives artist’s impressions of the plans and more background to the proposals which were used for the public consultation prior to submitting the planning application.
A single person caused thousands of pounds worth of damage in Wallington Square on Tuesday evening. The windows of five shops were smashed in an isolated and unusual incident. Police were on the scene within minutes after being alerted by CCTV and were able to prevent the vandalism spreading to other shops in the square or the high street. The perpetrator has been placed under arrest.
Cllr Hall and I visited Peacocks and Richard Marks today to talk to the owners. Peacocks was the worst affected, and are working to replace the windows as quickly as possible. It is important to get this done as boarded up windows and doors can attract further vandalism and make the area appear less safe than it really is. Well done to the discount shop for having replaced their broken windows already.
We also discussed with the shop managers the need to keep some lights on at night. Richard Marks was recently broken into in what appears to have been a targeted robbery. Police believe that lights in shops at night can be a deterrent to burglars and also enable the local SNT teams to check inside the shops for intruders.
As well as the building works to the front we know that the owners of Wallington Square are working hard to find tenants for the empty shops. The more shops we have occupied here the safer the area will be, as well as providing a welcome complement to the range of shops in Wallington.