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Disused Sunderland warehouse could become Cheeky Charlies play area

The proposed Cheeky Charlies site in Washington.
The proposed Cheeky Charlies site in Washington.

A disused warehouse could be transformed into a children’s soft play area under new plans submitted to Sunderland City Council.

Last month, a change of use bid was was lodged for a parcel of land off Wylam Close, in Washington’s Stephenson Industrial Estate. 

The area – which is currently designated as a mixed use travelling site – contains houses and is used for storage of funfair amusement vehicles and lorries.

If approved, soft play area Cheeky Charlies @ The Jungle would move into an existing warehouse on the site, creating around 50 car parking spaces and five disabled spaces for customers.

Plans include a dedicated area for toddlers up to four years old, a soft play area for four to 12-year-olds and a small cafe supplying snacks and hot and cold drinks.

A fence would also separate the soft play facility from the rest of the site with an entrance for vehicles provided via Rainhill Road/Rainhill Close.

A planning statement by applicant Derek Milligan states the business previously operated at Sunderland’s Sunrise Enterprise Park after being granted permission in 2016.

It adds that the business was forced to close due to “increasing overheads and lack of public transport in the area.”

On the new site, it adds the centre would bring a “vacant building into viable use”and have no“detrimental impact” on existing businesses and remaining employment land on the estate.

Three full-time jobs and four part-time jobs are expected to be created with opening hours of 9.30am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday.

Owners would also provide a sensory room in the centre for children with visual and hearing difficulties and other special needs.

Members of the public can comment on the plans until Thursday, October 18 with a decision expected by council planners in late November.

To find out more, visit www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference 18/01568/FUL.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service