First stage of works on Sunderland multi-million pound business park set for approval

Works on a multi-million pound business park creating thousands of jobs in the North East could get the go ahead this week, despite a raft of objections.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 2:08 pm
Updated Monday, 21st May 2018, 2:11 pm
An artist's impression of the IAMP looking south to the River Wear.

The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) will be based close to the A19 and north of Nissan’s existing manufacturing plant at a cost of £90 million plus.

On Thursday, Sunderland City Council (SCC) and South Tyneside Council’s joint venture will be discussed at a planning meeting at Sunderland Civic Centre.

The application – by council-appointed Henry Boot Developments – seeks full planning permission to build one industrial unit with an office, parking and service yards.

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This also includes a temporary construction route and accesses onto the A1290.

SCC’s planning and highways committee will also be asked to grant outline permission for other industrial units over a 134,984sqm plot of the site.

Functions would include storage and distribution alongside offices, parking, service yards, an electricity substation and changes to the access road to North Moor Farm.

Plans for the remainder of the site – known as  ‘IAMP TWO’ – must receive UK Government approval before works start and an application is expected to be lodged this year.

Due to the site’s “national significance” and the scale and demand for works, the secretary of state allowed initial applications to be decided at a council level, a planning report states.

Nissan have provided a letter of support for the plans describing the project as a “important component in delivering immediate growth and investment.”

However, many objections have been raised with the British Horse Society raising concerns about the effect on horse riders and Plantlife International citing potential rises in air pollution.

The Town End Farm Partnership (TEFP) also state SCC has a “clear conflict of interest” in relation to the application as the “landowner, effective applicant and determining authority”.

TEFP – who are involved in a planning appeal in relation to other land within the IAMP Area Action Plan boundary- have called for the business park plans to referred to the secretary of state for decision.

In a statement, they described the proposals as “fundamentally deficient” adding the project will face delays and cause spikes in traffic in the area.

The Church Commissioners for England – who own land in the wider IAMP development site – also raised concerns about the “piecemeal and and selective approach to development”.

A council report states the IAMP could create around 7,850 jobs from companies within the automotive sector who will benefit from being close to Nissan.

It adds the ‘IAMP ONE’ application has been “comprehensively designed” to minimise the effect on ‘IAMP TWO’ and the development as a whole .

When completed, the IAMP aims to attract more than £300m of investment in the region.

Councillors will be asked to follow officers reccomendations to approve the plans subject to conditions covering ecology and construction.

The meeting will take place between 5.30pm-7.30pm and for more information, visit: www.sunderland.gov.uk

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service