Sunderland sets its sights on 3,000 new homes for growing families

Land between Burdon Road and Nettle Lane, Ryhope.

Land between Burdon Road and Nettle Lane, Ryhope.

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The first step in creating 3,000 new large family homes in Sunderland has been backed by city leaders.

The new executive housing estates, in Chapelgarth, off Burdon Lane, on the former site of Cherry Knowle Hospital and a plot in south Ryhope, have been set out in the South of Sunderland Growth Area plans.

We need to deliver more housing sites with higher quality environments.

Councillor Mel Speding

Consultation will now begin on the scheme after Sunderland City Council’s cabinet agreed to support a planning document, with a further report in the pipeline once residents and businesses have had their say.

The area covers a total of 277 hectares in the Ryhope and Doxford Park areas and in addition to meeting the demand for homes, aim to keep graduates in the city and bring in new families.

The council has said it is losing population, particularly young families to neighbouring areas, but then commute back into Sunderland for work, with the projected need for housing drawing on census data, estimates, vacancy rates and job creation plans.

The spot in Chapelgarth is owned by the council, but already subject to an agreement with Siglion Developments.

The Burdon Lane land is owned by a number of people, with a consortium established to build homes.

It is in a settlement break area, set aside to ensure Doxford Park, Ryhope and Tunstall do not merge, but the council has said a section of land will remain to ensure this will still be the case.

Barratts and David Wilson Homes have been identified by the Homes and Communities Agency for the Cherry Knowle site, while the area in south Ryhope is owned by the Church Commissioners and earmarked for employment purposes, but the council proposes it is used for housing as “employment allocation is no longer considered appropriate”.

As part of its research, the council has recognised the number of houses will have implications for other services, such as schools and colleges, leisure and the highways network, with consultation to be undertaken with those departments.

Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary, said: “Three thousand homes would meet 20% of the city’s future housing needs and a significant number and executive and larger family homes.

“We need to deliver more housing sites with higher-quality environments.

“Given the size and scale of the developments, we are looking at a delivery plan to help identify all the infrastructure requirements.

“These requirements could see developers contributing to the expansion plans at local schools, the development of a new school, meeting all traffic and highways needs and sports and leisure facilities and more than 50 hectares of green space.”