WORK to transform a Sunderland street into flats and retail units has been given the green light.
Despite objections from neighbours, Woodstone Property Ventures has been given the go-ahead to continue with plans to upgrade 68-84 Hylton Road, bringing the retail units back into use and creating 25 student rooms.
The plans include a single storey extension behind 68 and at 80, with a narrow single storey link building across the rear of the properties, so they are internally connected.
A two storey extension will be built across the rear of number 74 to adjoin 72.
The current nine retail units will be made into six larger ones and once finished there will be five flats with shared living and kitchen areas each and a total of 25 en-suite bedrooms.
A petition signed by 72 residents, said they were objecting to the plans for a number of reasons, including the six parking spaces was not enough, other traffic and parking problems and windows looking directly into a rear yard.
Councillor Bob Price, who represents Millfield, told fellow members of the Development Control Sub-Committee that a number of his constituents had raised concerns about the development and were worried about noise and rubbish in the area.
He said: “It is clear that the residents feel this development will have an adverse effect on the environment and community.”
When a site visit was carried out late last year, it was found work on the development was already well underway.
Officers explained to members of the sub committee that under the current planning regulations the company was able to create 18 bedrooms without permission.
Woodstone Property Ventures believes the scheme will make a big improvement.
Director Sid Smith told the Echo said: “The building was previously a bedsit which closed two years ago, and the shops were empty.
“We have spent almost £400,000 on redeveloping it.
“All the shops have been totally refurbished, so there are now nine to let.
“The upstairs is going to be for student or professional letting.
“There are four flats and a separate facility for a disabled person on the ground floor.
“They all have separate entrances, so there will never be a herd of people running about.
“We have a very strict strategy in place to manage the building properly, and keep it clean.
“Cleaners will come in two or three times a week.”