Decision to be made on fate of Morrisons and Tesco developments

Peel Retail Park
Peel Retail Park
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THE fate of two supermarket plans is to be decided tomorrow.

Sunderland City Council’s planning and highways committee has been recommended to refuse applications from one of two developers when it meets tomorrow.

Committee members will consider a report by independent planning and development consultants Hollis Vincent, which recommends Tesco’s proposals for a store at the Peel Retail Park are given the go-ahead.

If built, the new store will create about 250 jobs.

The same report recommends that an application to build a Morrisons supermarket at Armstrong Industrial Estate, Washington, should be refused.

It would create about 300 jobs if built.

The recommendations come after a two-year battle between the two retail giants, which has seen the Tesco scheme reduce its floor space by 45 per cent and Morrisons cut the size of its proposed store by 23 per cent.

While the schemes fit planning criteria, the report says granting permission to both would prove detrimental to The Galleries, drawing shoppers away from Washington town centre as well as Concord.

Council planners have issued a recommendation ahead of the meeting that members approve the Tesco scheme subject to a number of conditions, including that the application be referred to the Secretary of State, once granted.

The meeting of the planning and highways committee will decide the outcome of the applications at 5pm at Sunderland Civic Centre.

The future of leisure centre plans is also set to be sealed at a meeting tomorrow. The development control sub-committee for Hetton, Houghton and Washington South is due to consider multimillion-pound proposals to demolish and rebuild Washington Leisure Centre.

The new centre would include a swimming pool, sports hall, squash courts, trampoline hall, fitness suite with exercise studio, spinning room, changing rooms and offices.

Six five-a-side football pitches are also proposed, along with 100 car parking spaces.

The committee will also consider plans for a new multiscreen cinema and up to six retail units at Cheviot House in Washington Town Centre.

The decision relating to the proposed leisure complex, at the south-west corner of The Galleries, was deferred at the last meeting because of a series of traffic-related issues which had yet to be resolved.

The meeting will be held at 3.30pm at Sunderland Civic Centre.