Former Sunderland Littlewoods site set to house businesses ‘displaced’ by major developments

Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.
Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.
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The former Littlewoods call centre and warehouse site in Sunderland could become a new home to businesses who have had to move because of a major road development on Wearside.

Sunderland City Council has submitted a hybrid planning application to create four new plots on the Commercial Road site.

Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.

Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.

A number of firms would be relocated to the site to allow for the construction of phase three of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor.

One plot would be occupied by businesswoman Anne Ganley, another by ACT Construction, one would be retained by the council, and another would be retained by Port of Sunderland.

The application reads: “The site is located between Commercial Road to the west and a railway line to the east, beyond which is the Port of Sunderland.

“A highway and pedestrian route bounds the site to the south, providing access to Hendon promenade while to the north is the former Dewhirst Group site, now operating as an industrial scrap yard.

The former Littlewoods building in Hendon.

The former Littlewoods building in Hendon.

“The site itself is a 2.9 hectare area of vacant land on Commercial Road in Hendon, which was formerly the Littlewoods Call Centre and Warehouse.

“This closed down in 2010 and the majority of the site has been cleared except for the warehouse on the eastern boundary which will be retained for use by the Port.

“Sunderland City Council is seeking planning permission for land at Commercial road to accommodate the relocation of businesses that will be displaced to allow for the construction of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor.

“The sites will be sold to the identified occupiers subject to securing the necessary planning permissions.

Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.

Former Littlewoods site Commercial Road, Sunderland.

“The proposed site is located within an existing industrial and commercial area, served by an established road and transport network.

“A mini roundabout will be introduced at the entrance to the development site which will also have a leg leading down Hendon Beach Road to the Hendon Beach car park.”

Phase three in the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor will see a dual carriageway run from the eastern end of the new Northern Spire bridge through Pallion, Deptford, and Farringdon Row to St Mary’s Boulevard.

City leaders say the £60million creation is a vital project to improve access to a host of key sites, including the new development on the former Vaux Brewery site.

Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary at Sunderland City Council, said: “The council has a strategic land acquisition and disposal policy to help deliver more physical regeneration across the city.

“In April 2015 and as part of this policy, the council agreed to acquire land at Commercial Road in Hendon that was on the market for sale.

“The site was the former Littlewoods property next to Jack Crawford House.

“The site had been identified as an opportunity to support future development of business at the Port of Sunderland and, following some demolition and clearance works, also cater for private sector development.

“The planning application reflects council policy on delivering, assisting and attracting more regeneration and investment.”

The plans, which can be viewed on Sunderland City Council’s planning portal, are due to be decided on by March 20.