HUNDREDS of new jobs will be lined up for Sutton if expansion plans from a company supplying the offshore energy industry get the go-ahead.
Subsea 7, an engineering, construction and services contractor to the industry, is in talks with Sutton Council about constructing new purpose-built offices close to the main railway station.
The company is looking to buy the Brighton Road multi-storey car park site from the council, knock it down and build its new offices.
Subsea 7 already employs 300 people in Quadrant House, behind Sutton station.
Its idea is to move those staff into the new building, which would also create space to provide hundreds more jobs, as the company moves ahead with expansion plans over the next few years.
Architects are in the process of drawing up designs for the new building and the company hopes to unveil draft proposals next month before submitting a formal planning application in April.
Dave Williams, Subsea 7 vice-president, said: "We are pleased to be able to announce this proposal for a long-term investment in our presence in Sutton and look forward to sharing our draft proposals with the local community over the next couple of months.
"We are committed to consulting with the local community before we lodge a planning application and want to ensure that we deliver a landmark building that Sutton can be proud to have at this southern gateway location."
The council has responded to the announcement by trying to reassure residents and shoppers that the loss of the 630-space car park will not cause parking problems in the town centre.
It has made public the results of survey which show that, even at peak times, on average only 60 per cent of spaces – 400 – in the Brighton Road car park are occupied.
The report says the loss of spaces would be compensated by 700 empty spaces available at other town centre car parks.
Cllr Jayne McCoy, chair of the council's housing, economy and business committee, said: "When interest was shown in this site by Subsea 7 we looked into this issue in great detail and found that even with the sale of Brighton Road, there would still be plenty of parking in other car parks close to the town centre.
"This is an opportunity to create hundreds of jobs for local people and in turn support existing businesses in the borough."