Beech Tree Place
Beech Tree Place
Beech Tree Place was built in the mid-1950s and is housing designated for older people over the age of 55. The estate first became an allocated site in 2012 under the Local Development Framework and was again allocated in 2016 under the Sutton Local Plan (2016 - 2031) as site STC11 for mixed town centre uses, including an indicative increase of 64 additional homes. The site is also included in the Sutton Town Centre Masterplan (2016) and is specifically referenced in the council’s Ambitious for Sutton plan, as an estate to consider how there can be an improved environment for current and new residents, subject to feasibility, viability and resident support.
The future of Beech Tree Place
The Council is considering the future of Beech Tree Place because it does not consider that the status quo of continued maintenance can deliver fit for purpose homes. The Council as a landlord needs to consider the future viability of the homes taking into account a number of factors including financial viability, building safety, carbon reduction, accessibility and the needs of an older client group.
In November 2018, Full Council resolved that officers consult residents on the proposed closure of Beech Tree Place, on the basis that if regeneration were to take place, then existing tenants who wish to remain would be guaranteed suitable accommodation for older people in the redevelopment.
The Council has been talking to residents about the options for Beech Tree Place for a number of years. A report on this was approved by the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee on 30 March 2020.
Since then, the Council has been working collaboratively with residents to agree a Residents’ Charter and Community Charter, and to consider the options for Beech Tree Place. The Council has formally consulted its residents on the options and fully considered their implication, and has recommended the full redevelopment of the estate. This was approved by the Housing, Economy and Business Committee on 13 October 2020, and on 15 June 2021, the Committee resolved that the redevelopment of the estate be delivered directly by the Council and in accordance with its business case. The Committee based their decision on this report.
The Council, its architects HTA Design and the wider design team are continuing to work with the existing residents and local stakeholders to develop the planning application for Beech Tree Place and this is due to be submitted in November 2021.
Regeneration and Social Value
Regeneration presents an important opportunity to work with the community to improve the quality of their homes and to potentially increase the supply of new homes (including more affordable homes), and better places for existing residents and Sutton’s growing community. We also recognise that regeneration can be more than just housing and want to offer wider social benefits where possible. Through Social Value, we want to improve health and wellbeing and unlock opportunities that have a positive impact on the life circumstances of local people. By working collaboratively, we want to understand what matters to residents and the wider community, and to identify the social issues that could be addressed as part of plans to improve the area. We will work with residents, local Councillors and stakeholders to establish local priorities and ensure the community is at the heart of future decisions.