Sisters’ petition gathers 1,100 signatures against eco-homes plan at Sunderland Bronze Age site

Sisters Lilly and Emmie Thompson handing over the petition oposing Humbledon Homes plan.
Sisters Lilly and Emmie Thompson handing over the petition oposing Humbledon Homes plan.
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SCHOOLGIRL sisters have handed in hundreds of signatures to planners to try and convince them to throw out proposals for a £3.9million housing estate.

Lilly and Emmie Thompson have collected more than 1,100 names opposing plans to build 13 homes on Humbledon Hill in Sunderland to be turned down.

They fear wildlife living on the heritage site will be affected by the eco-homes development by Sunderland-born architect Richard Marsden.

Residents are worried there will be parking problems because of the plans on the historical Bronze Age site, and their homes will be more open to burglars.

Lilly, 13, a year nine student at St Anthony’s Girls’ Academy, said: “I think it’s excellent that so many people have signed it.

“It’s been interesting to see how people have reacted to it and how there are so many nice people who have left comments.”

Emmie, 14, who is in year 10 at the same school, added: “I think it’s really good that people have come and given their names and had a discussion on Facebook.

“The majority have left comments about the wildlife and heritage and so many people know about the hill.”

Their mum Tracey, 46, who is married to Stephen, 46, accompanied her daughters as they handed in the signatures collected so far to the council’s planning officers in Fawcett Street.

She said: “We are very proud of all the hard work and efforts the girls have put into this campaign.

“From August 24, the girls’ online petition has managed to generate 544 signatures from across the world, with more signatures being added every few hours.

“Most of the oversea comments are relating to preserving the whole historic setting from any development.

“The unprotected and protected wildlife also seems to be a big concern.”

Architect Mr Marsden said he has worked with architectural professors and planning barristers on the scheme, which plans to boost the site’s biodiversity.

Anything taken from the ground during the building process will be relocated and reused for the living roofs of the buildings.

Previously, Mr Marsden said: “We will now let the councillors and professionally qualified planning officers carry out their role as normal.

“We firmly look forward to seeing this project through to fruition and if that means taking the application to appeal due to the ‘petition’, then so be it.”