Sutton Council has pledged to fight a legal challenge from a developer who wants to build six flats on a storage yard for a fencing company.

The application, for a storage yard just off Stonecot Hill on the A24 in Sutton, first appeared in front of the planning committee in February but was deferred as councillors requested more information.

After this, the developer lodged an appeal on the basis that a decision had not been reached.

The council claims if this had not happened it would have refused the plans. Similar plans from the same developer were refused by Sutton Council in 2019.

Sutton Council’s planning committee discussed the authority’s next move at a meeting on Wednesday night (May 3).

Objecting to the plans, councillor for Stonecot, Rob Beck, said: “This was a preposterous proposal from the start and I am surprised it even reached the committee at all without being refused first.

"You just have to look at the site to see how unviable this development is.”

He added that it would have a negative impact on neighbours, including a church, who would suffer from a loss of privacy.

The plans received more than a dozen objections from concerned neighbours.

An objection from Michael Small on behalf of St Cecilia’s Church, said the proposed development would overlook its memorial garden which is “a quiet and calm space”.

He added: “The privacy and peace our deceased and their visitors experience at present will be considerably compromised by the proposed kitchen, bathroom and stairway windows, eleven overlooking windows in total.”

The meeting voted in favour of the council contesting the appeal from the developer. 

It will claim that the site was not marketed for rent for a year before the application was made and the plans did not demonstrate reasons for the loss of industrial space and employment in the area.