A COLLEGE campus could be cleared to make way for new homes.
Sunderland College has submitted plans to turn its site in Shiney Row into a housing estate of 144 family homes.
It comes after education bosses said they would be closing the site to transfer the courses on offer there to other bases across Wearside.
Plans for the plot on Success Road show around half of the houses would be semi-detached, 30 per cent terrace homes, which could be up to three storeys high, and 20 per cent detached homes, with most two and three bedroomed properties.
In a consultation event, concerns were raised about the appearance of the site, access and transport, noise, ground conditions and ecology on the site.
Residents also said they were worried about how schools in the area would cope with additional pupils and asked if drainage to Herrington Burn and whether it would be a flood risk to the area, with some saying the housing needs of older people should be considered.
Some questioned whether there could be an alternative use for the land, rather than housing, with the college responding by saying it needed to “maximise the returns from the site” so it can improve the college estate for its staff and students.
A decision on the application, submitted to Sunderland City Council, is yet to be made.
Anne Isherwood, the college’s principal, said: “We constantly try to develop our existing facilities in order to meet the evolving curriculum needs of our students, however in some cases refurbishment projects are restrictive and not cost effective, which was the case with the Shiney Row campus.
“The campus will close to all students at the end of the academic year with all courses transferring to other campuses including the new purpose built sports and visual and performing arts academies which will open this September at Bede Campus.
“This is a major development for the college, providing state of the art facilities for our existing and prospective students.
“With the proposed housing development on the Shiney Row site there is a potential for growth for the local businesses in that area.”
The college also has plans to build a new £29million city centre campus in the area known as the Holmeside Triangle, which would lead to the closure of its Hylton Campus.
Councillor Colin Wakefield, an independent for the Copt Hill ward, said while he did no object to this plan, he was concerned about the number of new housing developments.
He said: “The Houghton area has been asset stripped as far as I’m concerned and this is another new housing estate.”
He added the number of new houses planned for the area was already higher than the level set out in a council strategy and losing a facility such as a college was an issue.