PLANS for a landmark development expected to kick-start the regeneration of Sunderland’s seafront will be considered next week.
Developers have put forward plans to create a two-storey beach-side complex at the rundown Seaburn Shelter.
Award-winning Wearside-based Fitz Architects worked in partnership with Jet, which owns Martinos restaurants in Sunderland and Seaham, to win a design competition for the site organised by the city council.
The building, which will feature giant glass walls providing views out to sea and up and down the coast, is designed to house a restaurant, cafe and other smaller business units as well as a lifeguard station and public toilets.
Planners have now considered the proposals and councillors are due to make a decision on planning permission for the development at a meeting on November 22.
The development has already attracted support from the community.
Community campaigner Bob Price, of Rydal Mount, Fulwell, said: “This is a welcome development and I hope it is one of many that will see our seafront areas improved and developed into a first-class family-friendly resort that enhances the natural qualities of our coastline and provide facilities for both the young and elderly to enjoy.”
Craig Fitzakerly, managing director of Fitz, said if planning permission is granted, work could start in the New Year and the development would be due for completion by June.
He said: “The aim is to create an impressive, memorable building which is something people in Sunderland and people from outside the area will want to visit.
“The whole concept of the design was to make the building as transparent as possible by using as much glass as feasible, so passers-by can see straight through it and out to sea.”
He added: “Sunderland’s seafront doesn’t have anything like this and we need something like this,” he said.
“There aren’t many facilities on the actual sea side of the road.”
The upper floor of the building is divided into large units which Mr Fitzakerly said would be suitable for use as restaurant, cafe or bar.
There is also a covered outdoor area on the top floor, which dog walkers and other visitors on wet days could use and a beach-level seating area with a new staircase down to the sands would also be created.
The bottom floor can be divided into eight units for smaller businesses depending on which tenants come forward and what they require.