One of London’s biggest bus operators wants to convert an old car auction site into a bus depot in an “urgent” bid to find space.

Arriva, which operates routes across south London, has submitted plans for the former London Car and General Motors site in Beddington Farm Road to Sutton Council.

The site, known as Dingwall Motors, had been used for car auctions for more than 50 years – since 1966 – but it is no longer in use since becoming vacant.

Newell Projects Limited, on behalf of the operators, said: “The council will recall that in recent years, Arriva operated a bus depot which was located close to the subject site.

“This was subsequently disposed of at a time when Arriva’s forward commitment was uncertain.

“However, due to a number of positive factors, namely – Arriva’s acquisition of new bus routes, the intensification and rearrangement of bus routes, and the prospect of new Transport for London (TfL) routes in the offing – there is an urgent need for a site for bus parking in the immediate area, with the subject site being ideally positioned.”

It continues that buses would be parking in the open area while the building itself would be for employee vehicles and “welfare accommodation”.

The site is a large, mixed-use industrial area which is also used by the Royal Mail as a depot.

There would be 39 spaces for buses while the original 80 for cars would be scaled down to just six.

The document added: “Arriva is also very active in competing for new bus routes in the Sutton area, which are to be provided by TfL.

“The expansion is required all the more urgently, because TfL is developing more bus routes in the part of London which is served by local depots, and the buses must be appropriately accommodated.

“It is therefore necessary to provide a depot within Sutton.

“Arriva has grown since its inception to be one of largest bus operators in London, and as such it continues to expand its operations in the council’s area.

“Hence, the urgent need for further bus operating space.”

It is currently unknown when a decision on the proposals would be made after the council validated the plans on July 18.

To see the plans, click here.