Controversial former nightclub to make way for sheltered accommodation

FILE PIC taken December 2007'Date: 04/12/2007   Photographer: PB    'THE GROOVE AND LONDON INN, SPOUT LANE, WASHINGTON,
FILE PIC taken December 2007'Date: 04/12/2007 Photographer: PB 'THE GROOVE AND LONDON INN, SPOUT LANE, WASHINGTON,
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PLANS to demolish a former nightclub to make way for a home for the elderly have been given the go-ahead.

The London Inn, Washington, is to be replaced with sheltered accommodation.

The nightspot complex, which included a number of bars and The Groove nightclub, closed after Sunderland City Council placed restrictions on its licence in 2008.

Neighbours had bemoaned noise, nuisance and violence stemming from the club, but now the site will be put to a much quieter use.

The Extra Care Housing will be created at the site in Spout Lane, which was previously Washington Miners’ Welfare Hall and still houses a restaurant.

Gilliford Try Partnerships plan to build the complex, which will create 79 apartments for the elderly with a communal lounge.

There will also be a restaurant, laundry and hair salon in the complex, which would be used by the residents and also be open to the community.

Sunderland City Council’s Adult Services Department has already identified an expected increase in the number of older people with dementia and it is hoped the new development will help to address this with 30 one-bed units and 49 two-bedroomed apartments.

A report to the authority’s development sub committee, said: “The accommodation would be provided mainly for the elderly with care needs and is to comprise of 100 per cent affordable rents.”

The three-storey development will roughly resemble a letter H shape.

The report said: “The central core of the building forms the main communal area of the development at ground floor level with various facilities including hairdresser, treatment rooms, lounge and restaurant opening onto a garden area to the rear.

“Residential wings are proposed to the north and south of the communal area. It is envisaged that there may be up to 130 people residing in the complex.”

Planners said: “It is considered that a residential development of the site is acceptable in principle and will contribute to the supply of specialised and accessible supported housing in this area of the city.”