Plans for riverside village unveiled

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PLANS to create a “riverside village” with 650 homes and new businesses on a former industrial site are finally back on track.

Property firm O&H Group Ltd has today revealed its latest vision to transform the former Groves Cranes site in Pallion into “an important future gateway” into the city centre.

Proposals for the key regeneration site, which is owned by O&H, were first laid out in 2004.

But the scheme was later withdrawn and prospects for the site fell quiet as the credit crunch set in.

Now the site owners are asking for Wearsiders’ views on blueprints for 650 homes, commercial and leisure facilities at the site, which would also be a landing point for the new Wear bridge, linking it up with the Sunderland Strategic Transport super-route.

Pippa Cheetham, of O&H, said: “Over the next few years, there are many initiatives aiming to bring economic growth and regeneration to this part of Sunderland.

“O&H are pleased to be part of this at the Groves site but also want to make sure that we listen to what the local community want to achieve as well as delivering environmental improvements for this part of the riverside.”

Development on the site was previously overseen by the now-defunct regeneration company Sunderland arc.

The arc was promoting the site as a housing-led mixed-use scheme with the potential to create “substantial business space”. It also identified potential for a new primary school, community facilities and some shops.

O&H and planning consultants David Lock Associates are now preparing the development framework for the site, and are keen to hear the public’s views.

Mrs Cheetham said the purpose of the framework was to set out “clear and agreed guidance” as to how future development will come forward at the site.

This will then be used to put together planning applications.

The proposal documents will be made public today and the consultation period lasts until August 26.

The draft development framework plan will be available online at www.davidlock.com/groves. Readers can also submit their views by completing an online comments form.

Comments can be sent in writing to Groves Consultation, David Lock Associates, 50 North Thirteenth Street, Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK9 3BP or by email info@davidlock.com

An exhibition and paper comment forms will also be available at the Sunderland Customer Services Centre in Fawcett Street.

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