'Affordable to who?' - social housing would have been better option for former site of Sunderland school

Readers have been reacting to plans to build 40 new affordable homes on the former site of a Sunderland school.

Friday, 11th January 2019, 1:08 pm
Updated Friday, 11th January 2019, 1:29 pm
The former site of Southwick Primary School on Northern Way is earmarked for a 40-home development. Pic: Google Maps.

The city council’s cabinet will be asked next week to back plans to dispose of land at the old Southwick Primary School site, off Northern Way.

The school closed in 2009 as pupils moved to a state-of-the-art building in nearby Shakespeare Street.

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Affordable homes are expected to be built on the site, subject to planning permission being granted.

Some readers were delighted that a disused piece of land is to be brought back into use, but others were less pleased.

Chris Parry said: "Affordable houses? Affordable to who? Not everyone can afford deposits. Social housing wasn’t mentioned for this site and it’s decent social housing Sunderland needs."

But Lee Richardson replied: "People complain there's not enough homes. Here you go, planning for 40 and people don't like it."

Kristian Brown pointed out: "At last, no green belt, not prime land, and in an already well-established residential area - well done Sunderland City Council.

"But it could have been better, with social housing - that would have been superb, because affordable housing, quite frankly, is not that affordable to the majority of people in Sunderland."

Chris Sumby said: "If it stops greenbelt being used, great."

Deborah Rose added: "They are a housing association and rent is cheaper with Bernicia than Gentoo."

Dan Murphy added: "Shock, horror, more houses! But I agree they should be council or social housing and make them affordable for the homeless to move in to."

David Wilkinson said: "Better than being vacant land."

Karen Emmerson said: "My mother-in-law has a Bernicia property, which she rents. They are lovely spec homes and affordable rents."

But Chris E Neale asked: "How about sorting out the ones that are stood empty, converting existing buildings into homes, or making homes affordable to buy, with local incentives?"