Following a public consultation in July and August this year, the artist impressions and plans for the square in Sutton have been updated to reflect residents’ comments.
The amended plans for Portland Square’s redevelopment, as part of the £62.6m Towns Fund, now feature additional timber benches built into the walls of the planters, extra lighting and CCTV cameras to deter anti-social behaviour, ambient lighting, and space for pop up food and drink stalls.
Portland Square will be transformed into a contemporary public space which can be enjoyed by all residents, visitors, and businesses. The creation of two urban green spaces, featuring eight mature native trees, lawns, inbuilt seating and lighting, are the centrepiece of the ambitious plans. The raised lawns will add much needed greenery and nature back into the town centre, whilst creating space for socialising.
The design will also provide increased pavement space outside the shops, to allow hospitality businesses to install outdoor furniture and make the most of the outdoor trading spaces.
In addition to the work on Portland Square, the Council is also redeveloping the brownfield site at Fox Street as part of the Future High Street Fund Programme. The existing derelict site will be converted into a flexible outdoor space, capable of hosting markets, and events, as well as providing parking for cars and bicycles and electric car charging facilities, when markets or events are not taking place. The renovations will include cleaning and revealing the watercourse, new benches, streetlights and CCTV, and planting of trees and hedges to complement the work on Portland Square. These improvements will create a direct pedestrian friendly route from ASDA car park to Portland Square and the southern end of the town centre.
Cllr Matthew Relf, Executive Lead Member for Regeneration and Corporate Transformation, said “We have high ambitions for our town centres and Portland Square’s redevelopment is at the heart of these plans for Sutton. The new design will bring vibrancy and vitality to the town centre, whilst attracting future investment and development.
“The plans will also allow a night-time economy to develop and flourish, and increase the footfall in the town centre. The plans for Fox Street will complement the work on Portland Square, both in visual terms and by supporting the natural flow of visitors. Having a dedicated space for Sutton’s market will improve the experience for residents and traders.
“The £62.6m Towns Fund and Future High Streets Funds are allowing the Council to reimagine Sutton and Kirkby. More of these projects are now reaching their delivery phase, and soon physical change will be visible across the District as the various investments progress”.