New beach-front development planned for Sunderland

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THIS could be your new-look seafront.

An award-winning firm of Sunderland architects is hoping to revitalise Roker and Seaburn with a hat-trick of landmark designs.

Fitz Architects has already designed the new leisure development to replace the former Seaburn Shelter, and a new café proposed for a site at Pier Cottages, Marine Walk, Roker.

Now the firm has submitted a planning application for another development at Marine Walk, opposite the planned new café.

It is for a two-storey building, with luxury apartments upstairs and offices or retail units downstairs.

There will be up to five beach-front rental units, available for mixed use, including restaurants and retail.

The units will be glass-fronted with a sea view leading on to Marine Walk.

Clinton Mysleyko, of Sunniside-based Fitz, said: “As a Sunderland company, we’re proud to be playing such a leading role in developing one of the city’s main assets.

“This area of the seafront has been under-used and under-developed for too long, and it’s great to be involved in making significant changes which should help bring the area back to life.”

This new proposal would be part of a £5million facelift being planned for the seafront, with improvements from Roker to Seaburn. Sunderland City Council has won £2million from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, and added £800,000 to fund preparatory work for the long-term development of the Ocean Park site and Seaburn seafront.

Work will include a second phase of promenade improvements; changes to Lowry Road behind Martinos to improve traffic flow; environmental work in Cut Throat Dene to make it more attractive for wildlife and more of a natural play area; and improvements to Whitburn Road, including better crossing points.

Council bosses have also earmarked a further £2.3million to expand on the work already carried out at Roker. It is hoped the ambitious scheme could create 521 jobs indirectly plus 525 temporary construction jobs.

Raoul Lemmerling, general manager of the Seaburn Marriott, praised the design of Fitz’s ambitious proposal: “It’s just what we need down there and would really add to the lower promenade offering.

“The addition of more high-quality developments on the seafront will help make the area more appealing as a year-round tourism destination and attract increased footfall for the benefit of all businesses in the area.

“This building wouldn’t just look great, it would bring life and investment to the area, and really help to take the seafront forward.”

Cabinet secretary, Coun Mel Speding, said: “It’s a really exciting time for the seafront with £5million of investment planned over the next few years.

“Private sector investment is key to helping us deliver the kind of facilities people tell us they want at the seafront so it’s great to see developments like this going ahead.

“It all adds to the bigger picture of improvements at Roker, which includes £2.3million the council has allocated to continue work begun under the Sea Change funded project.

“This will see further promenade improvements for Marine Walk beginning this spring, and a £1.35million investment in a rolling programme of restoration for the 110-year-old Grade II listed Roker Pier, starting with work on the lantern house this summer.”