Apartments plan for former Sunderland High School building

An artist's impression of how new apartments built on the now closed Sunderland High School site in Mowbray Road could look.

An artist's impression of how new apartments built on the now closed Sunderland High School site in Mowbray Road could look.

A former Sunderland private school building could be turned into swish new apartments suitable for “families and professionals” should proposals get the go-ahead.

Plans have been submitted to turn the now-closed Sunderland High School facility in Mowbray Road into nine residential apartments.

An artist's impression of how new apartments built on the now closed Sunderland High School site in Mowbray Road could look.

An artist's impression of how new apartments built on the now closed Sunderland High School site in Mowbray Road could look.

The school, which catered for youngsters aged between two and 18, was closed in 2016 after being founded almost 140 years ago.

Fees for pupils at the school ranged from around £2,300 to £3,200 a term.

Sunderland firm Fitz Architects, which is based in Roker, is the agent for the proposals, which have been put forward by applicant ClearWater Developments Ltd and can be viewed on the city council’s planning portal.

The school was founded in 1884 and former scholars include television journalist, Kate Adie, the late Denise Robertson, and the only person in Sunderland to earn a Victoria Cross, George Maling.

The former Sunderland High School building in Mowbray Road which could be turned into apartments. Copyright Google Maps.

The former Sunderland High School building in Mowbray Road which could be turned into apartments. Copyright Google Maps.

Despite a hugely successful academic record, United Church Schools Trust, which owned Sunderland High School, blamed the decision to close on plummeting pupil numbers, dropping from 580 to less than 290 in 10 years.

A planning document for the project reads: “This planning submission is a full detailed application.

“It proposes the conversion of an empty unsightly former school building into nine residential dwellings upon the sight, together with associated access, parking, and landscaping.

“The existing site access to the north will be maintained as the vehicular and pedestrian access into the rear part of the site from Mowbray Road.”

It added: “People are a fundamental considering in any development proposal.

“Whilst it is challenging to create an inclusive development, which benefits the wider community, a key aim of the design process here is to achieve a mix of apartment types to enable the creation of balanced development of predominantly housing for professionals, which will provide an enduring benefit to the continued sustainability of the area.

“New residents will also benefit from both the garden and parking areas proposed.”

A consultation over the plans ends on May 11 and a decision over whether or not approve them is set to be made by councillors on June 6.