Plea to change plans for future of Seaburn

Siglion's planned seafront boulevard.
Siglion's planned seafront boulevard.
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Campaigners are calling on a developer to alter its plans to transform a Sunderland seaside community and stop it becoming a “fancy housing estate”.

Campaigners are calling on a developer to alter its plans to transform a Sunderland seaside community and stop it becoming a “fancy housing estate”.

Aerial shot of Seaburn showing the area within Siglions masterplan.

Aerial shot of Seaburn showing the area within Siglions masterplan.

Siglion recently unveiled proposals to create up to 279 new homes in a revamp of the Seaburn area of the city.

The masterplan includes a new 20-metre wide central boulevard leading down to the seafront, with a pedestrianised area for shops, cafes and restaurants, and a covered space for markets and entertainment.

However, a petition by the “Save Seaburn” group has been set up on the change.org website to “demand” Siglion alter its plans, calling on fewer homes to be built, more space created for green areas and smaller buildings on the seafront.

The petition, which has more than 500 signatures, reads: “If Siglion and Sunderland City Council go ahead with their current proposed plans then the beautiful Seaburn seafront will basically be turned into a fancy housing estate with only limited space allocated for leisure, recreation, tourism.

Artist's impression of how Siglion would improve Cut Throat Dene in Seaburn.

Artist's impression of how Siglion would improve Cut Throat Dene in Seaburn.

“Seaburn needs a vision for the future which offers the right balance between the different uses.

“The Seaburn seafront has an enormous amount of potential to become a hot spot of natural beauty that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“Therefore, in the interest of local residents, local traders, people who love visiting the area, people who care about the area and many many others, Siglion and Sunderland City Council have to create a Seaburn redevelopment that can be enjoyed by everybody and not just by a select few.”

The petition also adds: “We acknowledge the fact that Siglion is probably the best developer to undertake this development but their current proposals are not aligned with what the general public wants for the area.”

The petition signs off with: “It is in the interest of all that Seaburn remains one of the most attractive seaside resorts in the UK!”

Siglion, which is a partnership between Carillion and Sunderland City Council managed by Igloo Regeneration, has made changes to its initial plans following a public consultation last October.

It has cut the amount of proposed new housing by almost a third and reducing the height of buildings along Whitburn Road.

A spokeswoman for Siglion said: “In approaching the redevelopment of Seaburn, Siglion is seeking to address its role as a 21st Century seaside resort, appealing to day trippers, with an aspirational, quality offer of new leisure venues, café-bars and restaurants and niche retail along the seafront, that will provide a year-round region wide-appeal regardless of the weather.

“This new leisure offer should broaden the appeal to all age groups and strengthen the visitor attraction to the sea front.

“It should also attract people seeking somewhere to live, either to commute in to one of the nearby centres or as a retirement location as part of Sunderland’s aspiration to be ‘the UK’s most liveable city’.

“The aim is to create a renewed destination to attract visitors and families to Seaburn from the surrounding towns and cities.

“The financial viability of the site is being reviewed as a whole and as Siglion has said the development needs to be viable and sustainable without public money, which is absolutely paramount in the current climate.”

More details about Siglion’s plans are at http://shapingsunderland.com/2016/03/14/seaburn-exhibition-keep-giving-us-your-feedback/.