Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 13th February, 2018 7.30 pm, NEW

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Contact: Davena Palmer, Committee Services Team Leader (Interim)  Tel.: 020 8770 4990, Email:

Link: Audio Recording

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The chair welcomed all those present.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Trish Fivey and Councillor Neil Garratt.


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Joyce Melican, Non Pecuniary, Board Member on Sutton Housing Partnership.


Councillor Nick Emmerson, Non Pecuniary, Board Member on Sutton Housing Partnership.



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting were unavailable and deferred to the next meeting.


Economy Watch

Economy Watch is prepared twice a year with the purpose of providing data on the economic activity of the London Borough of Sutton.


The latest report is available to view online at:


Indicative timing: 20 minutes



Polly Persechino, Opportunity Sutton? - Skills and Employment Senior Project Manager, presented the bi-annual report of the Economy Watch which was a mid - year review for 2017/18.


Members commented that the employment figures in Sutton always seemed to be quite buoyant and asked where do people work and what percentage commute up to London. The Senior Project Officer, explained that she would need to come back to the committee with further information.


Members enquired as to how many people above the age of 64 were working. The Senior Project Officer said she would ask the data team to provide the data on that if it is available.


Members asked what the rentals were per sq ft for small businesses to start up in comparison to other boroughs. Mandy Cherrington, explained that the rentals are not any higher and reflects levels in the subregion.


Members asked again regarding small businesses, whether the startups were all from new people or a single person setting up multiple businesses. The Senior Project Officer explained that that indicator was not included in the data.


Members asked if it would be possible to know how many Sutton residents own the new startup business’. Amanda Cherrington, Head of Economic Renewal and Regeneration, explained that the data does not provide that level of detail.



Discretionary Rate Relief - Pub Scheme 2018/19 and Council Tax Empty Property 100% Premium pdf icon PDF 120 KB

This report details the 22 November 2017 budget announcements to extend and fund the Discretionary Rate Relief - Pub Relief Scheme into 2018/19 and extend the discretionary power to charge a Council Tax Premium on residential empty properties up from 50% to 100% maximum.


Indicative timing: 15 minutes

Additional documents:


Julie Turner, Interim Assistant Director for Business Services presented the report.


Members commented on 4.2 of the report that although the government felt the pub scheme could have been introduced earlier, Sutton Council makes a point of consulting with its resident’s and the cross council party worked quickly to introduce the scheme as soon as possible.


Members asked for clarification on the 100% council tax premium and confirmation that the Council can double the council tax on empty properties.



  1. It be agreed that the Public Houses Relief Scheme is extended for the financial year 2018/19, as set out in Appendix A.


2.            It be agreed that where the Government is fully funding any future proposed discretionary rate relief scheme using section 31 grant funding, and where there is no expectation to consult on the decision to adopt and administer a scheme, it is delegated to the Strategic Director Resources in conjunction with the Chair of the Housing Economy and Business Committee. This will only apply where the Government mandates the manner in which a scheme operates (e.g Public Houses Relief Scheme and Small Business Rate Relief Schemes)


3.            The proposal to give local authorities the power to increase the Council Tax long term empty home premium up to a maximum of 100% of the Council Tax charge of the property be noted. On receipt of the regulations / guidance officers will review and report back in due course.



Local Plan Adoption pdf icon PDF 126 KB

On 12 April 2017, the council submitted its Draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A Planning Inspector was appointed and held public hearings on the plan in September. In November, the council undertook a consultation on the main modifications to the plan, advised by the Inspector. The Inspector has yet to issue his report but the main modifications necessary to make the plan sound give an indication of what the Inspector’s Report is likely to include.


See separate agenda supplement


Indicative timing: 30 minutes

Additional documents:


Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report.


Members asked about the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land designations, and the decisions made by the inspector on those points. The Strategic Planning Manager responded that the Inspector’s intent was to aid the Council by removing the Green Belt designation at the Gypsy and Traveller sites and extensions at Woodmansterne and the Metropolitan Open Land designations at Rosehill Park for a secondary school. Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, added that the Inspector removed the designations to remove the barriers to subsequent planning applications, however this was against the opinion of the officers.


Members asked for clarification on affordable housing and what was classed as affordable, expressing their concerns. The Strategic Planning Manager detailed that the Local Plan had proposed a boroughwide target of 50% for all new housing to be affordable (including private sites and sites developed by Registered Providers). However the Inspector had recommended that the target should be changed to 35% for private developments. Further explanation was given to different types of affordable housing such as London Living Rents and shared ownership.


In reference to Paragraph 4.8 of the report, members sought information on the Beddington Farmlands. The Strategic Planning Manager outlined that with predicted housing and population increase in the borough, the council had identified a need for 40.500sq m of new industrial floorspace and had argued that all this floorspace could come through the intensification of uses on existing industrial estates.  However, the Inspector decided that the existing industrial land could only provide an additional 20,000 sq m. Therefore, he recommended that in order to make the plan sound a further 20,000sq m of industrial land (or 4.4ha) should be allocated on open space at Beddington Farmlands. 


At the discretion of the Chair, resident Emily Brothers addressed the committee under standing order 10.1 in regards to Metropolitan Open Land at Rosehill Park and housing regeneration.

In response, officers highlighted that:

  • In regards to Rosehill and the school proposal, two site searches were carried out and both identified the Rosehill and Belmont sites as the most suitable sites to meet secondary school need in the borough.


  • In regards to the Sutton West site suggested by petitioners, this was just over a hectare in size and irregular in shape, meaning it would be difficult to accommodate a modern day secondary school.


  • In regards to the housing regeneration and feasibility studies, these are investigatory in nature and there would be future consultation with residents dependent on the feasibility studies proving regeneration is viable for the sites. Officers referenced the principles of regeneration and consultation timetable, both agreed by the committee in 2017.


  • The Council remains committed to following the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide.


Members then queried what the protections were for Areas of Special Local Character. The Strategic Planning Manager responded that the Local Plan now gives the same protections awarded to Conservation Areas.


Finally, Members asked what impact the Mayor’s London Plan could have on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Section 15 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (as amended) requires all local planning authorities to have an up-to-date Local Development Scheme in place. A Local Development Scheme sets out the council’s current Local Development Documents and the future Local Development Plan Documents over a specified time period, with appropriate milestones. The council’s Local Development Scheme expired in December 2017 and so a new scheme is necessary.


Indicative timing: 10 minutes

Additional documents:


Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager presented the report.

Members asked if there were enough resources to complete the work. The Strategic Planning Manager said that now officers are no longer focussing on the Local Plan they will have capacity.


Members asked what input residents would have into the Local Development Scheme. The Strategic Planning Manager explained that most documents will be subject to consultation and the scheme will come back to this Committee for consultation permission on later adoption.


The Chair commented that it would be useful for officers to provide a timetable for the scheme to be circulated to members.



  1. The Local Development Scheme for publication on the council’s website be approved.


  1. The Supplementary Planning Documents and guidance set out in Table 1 be revoked.



Brownfield Land Register pdf icon PDF 100 KB

This brownfield land register comprises all brownfield sites that are 0.25 hectares or larger, or capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings, and have been assessed as appropriate for residential development. This includes sites with planning permission, Local Plan site allocations and land identified in the council's published Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (2016). Under the regulations the council is required to update and publish the register at least once a year.


Indicative timing: 15 minutes


Dean James, Senior Planner, presented the report.


Chair identified that 2.1 of the report incorrectly said review of sites and not note and said this needed to be corrected.


Members asked how the register dovetailed into the Local Plan. The Senior Planner said that the methodology used to identify sites was the same one used during the Local Plan preparation so was consistent.


Members asked whether Brownfield land included garden land. The Senior Planner explained that garden land was specifically excluded except where planning permission was already given for development.


Members asked in regards to 5.3 of the report, what the purpose of the government decision on permission in principle (PiP) was.


Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, explained that PiP could work in the countryside where there is little impact on residents, but it would not work with applications and the level of detail required in London Boroughs, and it could set a dangerous precedent. The Senior Planner added that the development industry had not been enthusiastic about PiP either.


  1. The sites included in the 2017 brownfield land register published on 31 December 2017 be noted.


  1. The approach for identifying and including sites on the 2018 brownfield land register be agreed.



"The Locally Listed Buildings of Sutton" Document pdf icon PDF 89 KB

This report is accompanied by a document providing information on locally listed Buildings generally and gives details on each one. It is intended to be a comprehensive resource for the owners of Locally Listed Buildings, developers, planning officers and residents with an interest in the borough’s heritage.


Indicative timing: 15 minutes

Additional documents:


Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager presented the report.

The Chair invited Councillor Steve Penneck Lead Member for Arts, Culture and Heritage to address the committee on the item.


Councillor Penneck in his address:-

  • Gave thanks and praise for officers on the presentation of the report


  • Requested that the ‘Locally Listed Buildings’ were easier to find on the website


  • Commented that greater protection was given to heritage through the Local Plan


  • Spoke of his hopes that the process will be flexible as it is likely more sites will come forward


Members echoed the praise of the design of the document, and found the content very interesting and engaging.


Members suggested that locally listed buildings would be very good for local committee agendas. Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, said he was in agreement with this and hopefully a local plan tour could be arranged. Members suggested the document could be put into smaller sections for the local ward areas.


To reflect the comments made by the committee the chair proposed the recommendation also include a commitment for officers to raise awareness of the Locally Listed Buildings within internet-based local history groups and residents’.

RESOLVED that the “The locally Listed Buildings of Sutton” for publication on the council’s website be approved and for officers to raise awareness within internet-based local history groups and residents’.


Any Urgent Business

The Chair must approve the reason for urgency.


There was no urgent business.