Sutton had a purple patch in the 18th and 19th centuries when magnificent lavender fields feeding off the chalky, free-draining soil of the North Downs became the centre of a worldwide industry.
Today the focus is on the outer London suburb’s town centre, which, despite a prized conservation quarter, lost its allure in the Seventies due to some planning disasters but is now enjoying a makeover.
In travel Zone 5, Sutton is affordable territory for young first-time buyers who want a quick commute into central London, with 25-minute trains to Victoria and 33 minutes to Blackfriars.
An extension to Sutton of the Croydon-to-Wimbledon tram service is on the agenda. too.
Sutton Point, next to the train station, is one of the key new developments, with 332 flats, shops, a hotel and a fitness centre grouped around a new public square. Prices from £280,000. Call Knight Frank on 020 3826 0673.
The local council’s mission is to turn Sutton borough into the “UK’s first sustainable suburb, one of the greenest places in the country to live”.