People power blocks controversial Sunderland store opening – but businessman vows to appeal

High Barnes residents, left to right; James Rafferty, Ken Wilkinson, Brian Ford with his 10 year old daughter Bryanne, Dorothy Gardiner and Debra Hendry, are unhappy about the plans to convert a former bakery on Cleveland Road, Sunderland, into a convenience store.

High Barnes residents, left to right; James Rafferty, Ken Wilkinson, Brian Ford with his 10 year old daughter Bryanne, Dorothy Gardiner and Debra Hendry, are unhappy about the plans to convert a former bakery on Cleveland Road, Sunderland, into a convenience store.

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CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating a planning committee’s decision to block a proposed convenience store in Sunderland.

But the applicant behind the plans has vowed to appeal the move.

Residents living around the former bakery in High Barnes have been speaking out against the proposed Nisa store, with many hundreds having signed petitions.

They fear a new shop will increase congestion and parking problems in the busy Cleveland Road and lead to antisocial behaviour, noise and litter.

Now Sunderland City Council’s development control committee has refused it on grounds of highway safety and noise.

Voting to refuse the application, Coun Michael Essl said: “I share the residents’ concerns. I’m going to vote against it and I’d urge all my colleagues to do the same.”

According to applicant Gursewak Singh, this decision has put a potential 12 jobs in jeopardy as well as bringing a dilapidated building back into use.

Speaking on his behalf, agent Mike Convery told the Echo after Tuesday’s meeting that he was confident of securing a reversal of the decision on appeal and would also be making an application for an award of costs against the council.

Mr Convery said the council had gone against the advice of its own officers as neither its highways nor environmental health officers had any objections on the grounds cited for refusal.

“Obviously we are extremely disappointed with the decision,” he said. “This is a building that has stood empty for several years. The existing planning permission for housing had to be extended because nobody would take it on.

“My client’s application was to bring it back into active use, adding to the diverse retail offer already available.

“We feel that the council have ignored the advice of their own internal officers, I can only assume, on the back of the objections.

“We are confident of securing a reversal of that decision on appeal and will make an application for an award of costs.”