Calls for new seafront car parking over Seaburn plans

Build a car park and they will come.

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 5:00 am
The former funfair site at Seaburn is part of the plans.

That is the call of seafront traders as they urge for a review of spaces on the back of plans to regenerate a key site on Sunderland’s coast.

Siglion has applied for temporary permission over a five-year period for a series of ventures on land at Seaburn covering the Pullman Lodge, Seaburn Centre and former fairground sites while longer-term developments take shape.

Ed Tutty, chairman of Sunderland Seafront Traders' Association.

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Suggested projects include markets, an outdoor cinema, cycle hubs, places to eat and drink, a bike hire base, gardens and areas to play, with a number of shipping containers to be used.

Siglion, a partnership between Sunderland City Council and now-defunct construction firm Carillion, says it will “bring a much-loved site back to life” as it works to establish permanent uses for the land.

Sunderland Seafront Traders’ Association, which brings together more than 40 businesses, has put forward its views on the scheme after discussing its pros and cons.

Members have given the plans a mixed reaction, so agree “something is better than nothing” after it has been left empty, to claims the proposals are “woolly” and were “hurriedly cobbled together” when it became clear Carillion was going to go into liquidation.

Siglion hopes to regenerate the Seaburn area of the city.

Chairman Ed Tutty said: “It was also agreed that the plan did not address any of the parking issues that will come with added staff, added footfall.

“In this day and age no plan would be considered without adequate parking.

“Once the Seaburn centre is demolished, the area will be so obviously crying out to be a tremendous parking amenity, desperately needed and actually perfectly timed for spring and summer.

“So rather than have some sad looking containers and wooden huts occupying the most prominent site on the seafront and therefore excluding the one thing that is desperately needed - car parking.

Ed Tutty, chairman of Sunderland Seafront Traders' Association.

“At a business meeting group and residents at workshop meetings organised by Siglion were unanimous in requesting extra parking and this would be an excellent opportunity to meet that request.

“In conclusion the respondents are pleased that there will be something on site but have great concerns over the lack of parking for the new footfall and staff that these things will bring.”

In addition, the association has raised concerns about the use of the containers.

Mr Tutty added “It was also said that the siting of industrial shipping containers on the seafront would not enhance the overall look of the Seaburn area, particularly during the off season when it would look like an industrial site or sea port rather than a customer-focused destination.”

Siglion hopes to regenerate the Seaburn area of the city.

The plans can be viewed via https://goo.gl/b1WQdy.