A multi-million pound project to give Sutton Town Centre a landmark gateway has been given the green light.

Councillors gave planning permission for the Old Gasworks Project - a plan to build a brand new tower block, a supermarket and a public square on the site of the gas holders and Zurich tower at the north end of the High Street - at a meeting last night.

Your Local Guardian:

LXB plans to completely develop the site by getting rid of the old gas holders, decontaminating the land, demolishing other buildings on the site and building a Sainsbury's supermarket, a public square featuring trees, water features and 186 houses in several blocks including an 11-storey tower.

Although councillors expressed reservations about the lack of so-called affordable or social housing in the project, it was given planning permission in a landslide vote last night.

Giles Haywood of LXB told the meeting: "This is the result of three years of consultation and we're delighted with the progress we've made over that time.

"It's a high quality scheme and it will raise the profile of Sutton and a place to live, work and spend leisure time.

"Our proposal offers a one-off opportunity to unlock the site and provide a development Sutton can be proud of."

Sutton Council leader Ruth Dombey, whose ward the application falls in, also spoke at the meeting and referenced the fact that the project does not include social housing She said: "It may not be perfect but, in an imperfect world, it's the best we're going to get.

"Personally I'm proud to live and work in Sutton and I believe this is an opportunity to provide a gateway entrance to the town of the high standard we would expect."

The meeting heard that the difficulties raised by having to decontaminate the land would make certain aspects of the project and precluded building an underground car park meaning shoppers at the supermarket will park on ground level before travelling up a travelator to the shop.