PLANS for two new shopping developments could spell disaster rather than joy for a community, an angry resident claimed today.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s plans to build a new store at the Jennings car showroom site in Riverside Road, Southwick, which it says will boost the economy and create up to 500 jobs.
Development firms Verum Victum and Penmarric also have plans to build a small food store, restaurant, takeaway and retail units at the Cowies and Arriva site at nearby North Hylton Road.
But many residents and small business owners have objected to the projects, claiming they will bring big problems to the area.
Four petitions with a total of 2,000 signatures have now been submitted against the North Hylton Road proposals.
Brian Fisher, of Raleigh Square, Red House, whose home faces the North Hylton Road development site, said: “There’ll be a big increase in traffic, and we’ll get boy racers hanging out there – especially with there being a takeaway.”
The 53-year-old added: “There’ll be noise and mess.
“It isn’t just residents – all the shops in Red House are going to have their business taken away.”
Developers behind both schemes have disputed allegations they will harm the area, saying the projects will meet the need for food stores and enhance existing trade.
They say at present shoppers must travel out of the area.
However, Mr Fisher does not think the developments will increase employment and disputes the need for the new stores.
“We’ve already got Aldi. There’s the Co-op in Castletown and there’s the new Morrison’s in Castletown, which used to be Netto,” said the factory worker.
Mr Fisher said if the two new projects went ahead, that would make five stores in a small area .
“The other thing is they’re talking about office units,” he added.
“There are office units a couple of hundred yards down the road that have been sitting empty for five years. That site is supposed for be for industrial use.”
Sunderland Council’s Planning and Highways Committee is due to decide on whether to grant permission for the developments.
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