Sunderland’s deer population ‘to be hit by housing development’

Carolyn Wall with her dog Barney at the field where she noticed the wild deer and fawn. Photograph by FRANK REID

Carolyn Wall with her dog Barney at the field where she noticed the wild deer and fawn. Photograph by FRANK REID

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A mum has spoken of her sadness as deer are set to lose part of their natural habitat to a new Sunderland housing development.

Carolyn Wall, from Hall Farm, took a photograph of deer she spotted while out for a morning run near Hall Wood Farm, where up to 250 new homes are set to be built after Sunderland City Council gave Partner Construction Ltd planning permission.

The deer pictured by Carolyn Wall.

The deer pictured by Carolyn Wall.

More than 100 people objected to the application, listing concerns about the future of wildlife and traffic problems among the issues with the scheme.

Mother-of-two Carolyn, 39, who is a keen photographer, was out with her golden retrievers Jasper and Milly and cockapoo Barney when she saw the deer.

She said: “I was going for a run and I got to the top of Burdon Lane and Hall Farm Wood Road and I saw them in the field.

“I was just in awe and I didn’t have my camera, so got my phone to capture them and then they just ran down towards the houses in the corner of Burdon Vale.

I just feel it’s a shame because there’s going to be houses there soon.

Carolyn Wall

“I just feel it’s a shame because there’s going to be houses there soon.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen them.

“The reason I moved here was because it was near to the woods, they’re on your doorstep and they’re great for walking the dogs.”

The development is set to go ahead on land off Silksworth Lane and Silksworth Road, despite three separate petitions from more than 100 objectors.

Carolyn Wall with her dog Barney at the field where she noticed the wild deer and fawn. Photograph by FRANK REID

Carolyn Wall with her dog Barney at the field where she noticed the wild deer and fawn. Photograph by FRANK REID

Concerns were also been raised over a potential flood risk in the area, as well as additional pressure on including such as doctors and schools.

Planning consultants Signet, who are handling the application on behalf of Partner Construction Ltd, believe the Mill Hill estate could boost the area’s economy and support the need for new homes in the city.

The application was approved at the start of this month.

After the planning meeting, resident Audrey Polkinghorn, of Vicarage Close, who organised the latest petition against the scheme, said: “In all honestly I am not surprised that the plans have gone ahead - but at least we did our bit and tried.

“Every issue we have raised, whether it be flooding, concerns over the junction or worries about the doctor’s surgery being swamped, they just seem to amend the plans and then give a reason of why it can still go ahead.”

Concerns over access to the site was highlighted as a main issue, after residents were told a roundabout on the junction of Silksworth Road and Silksworth Lane, was not viable.

Signet said various options had been considered, with an independent traffic survey commissioned.

Anthony Jukes, the council’s principal development control planner, told the meeting there was “not considered to be any adverse impacts that would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the scheme” during the discussions.