Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 25th September, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices - St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. View directions

Contact: Fiona Bywaters, Committee Services Team Leader  Tel.: 020 8770 4990, Email:

Link: Audio Recording

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair, Councillor Jayne McCoy, welcomed those present to the meeting.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Joyce Melican and Councillor David Hicks, with Councillor James McDermott-Hill attending as substitute for the latter.


Declarations of Interest


No interests were declared.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2018.


RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2018 be agreed as an accurate record.


Order of Items


The order of items was revised by the Chair so that Item 12 (Sutton Link Update Report) was heard first due to the attendance of Matthew Rheinberg representing TfL, with other items remaining in the order stated.


Sutton Link Update Report pdf icon PDF 171 KB

An extension to the existing London Trams network has been a priority of both Sutton and Merton Council for over 20 years. In July 2017 the Mayor of London asked Transport for London (TfL) to investigate opportunities for an extension to Sutton with a view to submitting a Transport Works Act Order (TWAO) application if funding for the project can be identified. The London Borough of Sutton (LBS), in partnership with TfL and the London Borough of Merton (LBM), has embarked on the option assessment and further development of the scheme and as such LBS needs to reaffirm its commitment to the project.

Additional documents:


Daniel Doris, Major Schemes Programme Manager, presented the report.


Following the presentation, the Major Schemes Programme Manager and Matthew Rheinberg, the TfL representative, gave further explanation to the bus rapid transit option and Appendix D (the consultation plan) as well as costs and funding packages. Clarification was also given to the routes outlined in Appendix A, which were consulted on in 2014, and the exclusion of a previous option running on Sutton High Street.


Members asked whether agreement to the tram was dependent upon a commitment to building houses. This was confirmed and members were advised that the expected additional homes and associated infrastructure had been included in the recently approved Local Plan.


Finally it was confirmed that a preferred route had not yet been expressed by the Council, however as stated in the report, the Council’s preference remains for investment in a tram over any other mode of transport.



1.    Progress to date on the tram extension (Sutton Link) programme for submission of a potential Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO) application be noted.

2.    A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TfL and London Borough of Merton, be entered into, and authority delegated to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration, in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee, to sign the final MoU.

3.    The Sutton Link Governance Structure as set out in Appendix C be agreed.

4.    TfL’s option consultation across Sutton and Merton be supported.

5.    All options to identify a viable funding package for the scheme be reviewed.

6.    Sutton’s commitment to the tram extension (Sutton Link) project be reaffirmed.


Economy Watch pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The latest Economy Watch Report can be accessed online at:


Nick Smales, Assistant Director - Economic Development, gave a presentation on the latest Economy Watch Report.


Following the presentation, Members discussed in-migration and out-migration of the economically active workforce. Members also debated the potential to monitor vacancy rate of shops, variations in footfall according to the daytime / night time economy and property rental costs as well as the difficulties of comparison to other town centres. Consideration was given to factors which could impact on the data, such as weather conditions or special events.


Finally, the Chair gave mention to a new initiative in Sutton, ‘Women Mean Business’.


Task and Finish Group for Discretionary Rate Relief pdf icon PDF 100 KB

This report requests a Task and Finish Group to be set up to undertake a review of the options available to design a revised scheme to continue to offer Discretionary Revaluation Rate Relief to businesses affected by the 2017 Revaluation, taking into account the significantly reduced funding available for the years 2019/20 and 2020/21.


The report was taken as read. Councillors Trish Fivey, Jake Short, David Bartolucci, Jayne McCoy, and members of the principal opposition group were put forward to join the Task and Finish Group.



1.    A Task and Finish Group be established to review the options for a locally defined Business Rate Relief Scheme.

2.    The Task and Finish Group will meet on at least one occasion between 26 September 2018 and 31 October 2018.

3.    That any proposed options are consulted upon with the outcome of the consultation and any recommended changes returning to a future meeting of this committee for agreement.

4.    That any proposed options for consultation are delegated to the Strategic Director - Resources in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.


Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2018/19 to 2047/48 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s approval of a new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan covering the years 2018/19 to 2047/48.  The new Business Plan incorporates the programme of property acquisitions, which was approved by the Committee at its meeting in June 2017 and addresses the need to invest in additional fire safety works in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.  It also models the impact of potential further new build activity in the light of bids shortly to be submitted to the GLA for funding support.

Additional documents:


Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, presented the report. Justin Chamberlin, Programme Planning Manager - Sutton Housing Partnership, also attended.


Members sought further detail on and discussed the cost of improvements (which included fire safety works) and water charges (as previously reported to committee) as well as heating means, costs, retrofitting and potential grant funding. The Programme Planning Manager explained how any successful bid(s) would impact on the HRA. Following a question from the Chair, it was explained by the Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager that resident consultation on the HRA capital programme takes place via SHP’s  annual delivery plan process.


For the benefit of members appointed to the committee in this municipal year, historical context on service charges and the collection from leaseholders was given by the Assistant Director - Housing, Planning and Regeneration.


Members also discussed the acquisition of ex-council stock, temporary accommodation needs and the costs associated with building new properties.


RESOLVED: that the new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan set out at Appendix A be approved for publication.


Under Standing Order 15.4, Councillor Nick Mattey wished it recorded that he abstained from the vote.


Council's Opinion: The Inspector's Report on Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 121 KB

This report seeks the council's formal decision on whether to recommend that the Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Plan proceed to referendum, with modifications as recommended by the independent examiner, following the publication of the Examiner’s Report on 4 September 2018.

Additional documents:


Dean James, Senior Planner, presented the report and gave thanks to the neighbourhood development group for their commitment and input. Members also commended the group and residents for their efforts.


Danielle Reid, a representative of the Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Development Group, spoke to the committee and answered questions on the neighbourhood plan, accompanied by Lysanne Horrox and Julia Armstrong.


Members were also provided with further detail by officers on the referendum process (as coordinated by Electoral Services) and the effect of the plan on future planning applications.



1.    Modifications be made to the Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Plan as recommended by the Examiner and set out in the council’s Decision Statement (Appendix B). 

2.    The Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Plan, as modified in line with the Decision Statement, proceeds to a referendum within the boundary of the Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Area (Appendix C), as recommended by the Examiner.

3.    Authority to ‘make’ (adopt) the neighbourhood plan be delegated, subject to the referendum result, to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration.


Establishing a Design Review Panel pdf icon PDF 125 KB

This report considers whether a design review panel is suitable and feasible as part of the planning application process in Sutton. It recommends a one-year trial for a panel and proposes some parameters for the trial.


The report was taken as read and Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning and Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, answered questions from members.


Members enquired as to the independence of the panel from the Council. The Strategic Planning Manager explained it was likely to be provided externally and would also review Council-proposed applications. Further discussion was given to costs to developers, the wide-ranging aspects of design which would be considered, the possibility of extending any pilot, the benefits of independent review and composition of the panel. Officers also gave further explanation to the pre-application process and resident involvement in planning applications.


The Chair requested that members of the planning committee inform the feedback report on the trial (recommendation 2.2) as key stakeholders.



1.    Officers procure an external provider for a one-year trial of a design review panel.

2.    The outcome of the one-year trial be reported to a future meeting of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.


Estate Regeneration rehousing and compensation scheme pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This report sets out the proposed range of commitments and offers to residents on estates where regeneration may be considered by the Council, to ensure residents (tenants and homeowners) are protected and treated fairly if regeneration were to take place.

Additional documents:


The report was briefly introduced by Simon Latham, Assistant Director - Housing, Planning and Regeneration, with specific reference to Appendix A.


In debate, Members referred to previous regeneration schemes and the demographic of those requiring rehousing. In response to Member feedback, the Assistant Director offered an additional briefing to members on the subject, should this be desired.


Upon the invitation of the Chair, Colin Hawkins of the Sutton Federation of Tenant & Resident Associations (SFTRA), spoke to committee on his experience of regeneration in the borough.


However, under Standing Order 23.1, any matters still outstanding three hours after the meeting has started require consideration at an additional meeting of the committee, to be called within ten days. This concerned:

·         Item 10: Estate Regeneration Rehousing and Compensation Scheme

·         Item 11: Review of Beech Tree Place older persons housing scheme