Residents have raised their 'fears' over the councils proposed plans to demolish its Victorian buildings to make way for its London Cancer Hub.

Sutton Council submitted the application for demolition of former hospital buildings on Cotswold Road in July.

In their planning documents, the council states their intention to remove the buildings, dating back to the 1800s, to make way for The London Cancer Hub.

The London Cancer Hub will be adjacent to The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) and will work closely with the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Previously, a spokesperson for Sutton Council said: "The Council is drawing up plans to directly deliver a new innovation hub in an existing building owned by the Council.

"This optimum location will enable start-up and spin-out companies at the innovation hub, along with teams from larger enterprises, to work closely with, and learn from, world-class academic scientists."

Your Local Guardian:

The proposals have caused concerns amongst residents, with claims the plans are a "poor reflection of the sites former glory."

Site history

Belmont Hospital was a psychiatric hospital which opened after the Second World War. It closed and was demolished in the 1980s.

The premises had previously fulfilled a number of different institutional purposes. For example, during World War II it was used as an emergency hospital for military and civilian casualties, including psychiatric cases.

The oldest buildings on the site, built in the early 1850s, had originally been a large residential 'district' school belonging to the South Metropolitan Schools District. Along with its nearby annex site, built in 1884 in Cotswold Road.

Local List

The plans which were originally on the Council's Local List, which would've offered them protection, later saw the H blocks on the former Sutton Hospital site de-listed.

Council authorities say that, following on from consultation and public examination of the draft Local Plan in 2017, H blocks were removed in February 2018 on the adoption of Sutton's new Local Plan.

Your Local Guardian:

However, Peter Mattey, Chair of Belmont, South Sutton and South Cheam Neighbourhood Forum, says residents were led to believe the buildings would be protected.

Speaking about the Downs School for Girls ( one of the old builds ) he said:

"In its time, the Downs School for Girls was a centre-piece of how the area sought to provide for disadvantaged children and was the fore-runner of care facilities in this part of London.

"From what we can see there has been no exploration of how the buildings might be integrated into the London Cancer Hub's future development.

"If action is not taken quickly there is a very high risk that these rare and unique historic buildings will be demolished.

"These buildings are a significant part of the heritage of the borough and we are fearful that the demolition will commence soon if no intervention is made quickly.

"We urgently need the support of residents to preserve the two buildings on the site and object to the latest planning application that proposes their total demolition."

A spokesperson for Sutton Council said: "We are aware of the issues being raised and will consider them as part of the agreed planning process."

Status - Pending Consideration

Objections can be made using the LBS Planning Portal (DM2020/01052 ).