Council gives go-ahead to 112 homes on Wearside

The land at Hetton Downs
The land at Hetton Downs

Plans for more than 100 new homes on Wearside have been given the green light.

Sunderland City Council bosses have, in recent weeks, agreed to dispose of land in the Hetton Downs area, Hetton-le-Hole, to developer Gleeson Homes.

The transfer forms part of a council partnership with Homes England to prepare city sites for new housing.

As part of the Hetton Downs Housing Delivery Plan (2013-2020), the council aims to build hundreds of homes in the area in three phases.

Plans to build 112 homes were put to the council’s area Development Control Sub-Committee in ‘phase two’ of the scheme.

This covers three parcels of land off Downs Lane, Blossom Street and adjacent to the Elizabeth Fleming Care Home.

During consultation, 12 objections were lodged raising concerns about the homes plan from parking issues to loss of green space.

Copt Hill councillors Jack Cunningham and Kevin Johnston and Hetton Town Council also raised concerns about potential traffic disruption.

In response, developers made changes to the scheme including removing a proposed vehicle access to the south from Eppleton Terrace.

Coun Claire Rowntree also asked whether the development would lead to a spike in congestion in the wider area and affect traders.

The meeting heard a construction management plan will aim to reduce impact and disruption to neighbours.

A planning condition would require developers to correct any issues that arise during construction.

Council planners also made a request for a six-figure sum from the developer to reduce the scheme’s impact.

The meeting heard that this - called a section 106 order - asked the developer to pay £38,500 for highways, £175,000 for education facilities, £78,512 for play areas and £64,176 for ecology issues.

While a district valuer confirmed the scheme was not viable in this context, the funds will come from the council’s land sale.

The final decision on where the section 106 funds will be spent will be subject to consultation with Copt Hill councillors.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service