Sutton High Street could be transformed into a Parisian Boulevard, with specially commissioned art and a thriving café culture, under new plans.

Sutton Council has £250,000 to improve the town centre and last week groups from across the borough thrashed out ideas on how it should be spent.

Dramatic changes are already in store as proposals to change outdated office blocks into hundreds of modern flats have been approved by planners.

The workshop was led by top urban designers Professor George Hazel and Peter Dickinson, who were responsible for the development of Leeds Millennium Square and the rejuvenation of Edinburgh city centre.

More dramatic ideas included opening up Throwley Way from where it meets Throwley Road, through to the Civic Offices, filling in the underpass and pulling together Millennium Gardens and the town square into one massive central plaza.

There was also a strong push to reclaim the streets for the pedestrian by re-thinking largely unused cycle paths and improving weak gateways into the centre, including the uninspiring station exit. They also want to improve the lower end of the High Street, after it was generally agreed that no one ventures down there.

Included in the 33-strong group were representatives from the Safer Sutton Partnership Service, St Nicholas and Times Square Shopping Centres, Shopmobility and the Sutton Chamber, alongside various retail managers, transport experts and chief executive of Sutton Council, Paul Martin and leader Sean Brennan.

Alanna Coombes, Sutton's town centre manager, said: "Sutton Council has already made a commitment to invest significantly in the town centre and it's great that all these organisations and businesses are working with the council to make sure that investment is well spent.

"With the many new or proposed developments in the town centre - homes, shops, restaurants and hotels - it's clear that the public space in the town centre will need to change to reflect what is an increasingly thriving and increasingly attractive investment opportunity.

"This workshop successfully outlined a vision for the public space in the town centre for which the people of Sutton could be proud."