The first phase of Sunderland city centre’s Vaux site development could be finished in little more than two years, says the man in charge.
Neil Huntley, of development partnership Siglion, told a meeting of Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association, public reaction to the plans had been overwhelmingly positive.
We are looking at, hopefully, a planning application in November, and consent in February or March time, then to be on site in the summer with that first phase.Neil Hartley
“We have held three public consultation events and there has been a 90% positive response to what we are proposing ,” said Mr Hartley.
About 25% of those who had been to the events had returned full responses
Mr Hatley added: “A return rate of about 15% is classed as very good, so we have had a fantastic response.
“We have a masterplan for the whole site that has some variances that respond to this consultation.”
The Siglion masterplan features a mix of uses for the five-and-a-half hectare site, including offices, retail, restaurants and cafes, a hotel, residential apartments, car park and leisure spaces, and a new access road off St Mary’s Way.
The plan will create new public spaces with path and cycle routes along the cliff edge and through the site, with high-quality public open spaces and continuation of the Keel Line art installation, which runs from the cliff edge to the city centre, through Keel Square.
The 60,000 square-foot first phase of the development will consist of high-quality office spaces, designed by architects Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, and a new public square.
Mr Hartley said: “We are looking at, hopefully, a planning application in November, and consent in February or March time, then to be on site in the summer with that first phase.
“It will be about a 70-week contract, and so should be completed by the end of 2017.”
Siglion will redevelop a number of sites, including Seaburn seafront.
It will also manage a large investment portfolio of industrial, retail and office property across the city, as part of the long-term economic regeneration of Sunderland.