Green Belt building and travellers among topics at meeting over ‘hugely important’ plans for Sunderland

Say No signs, Durham Road Parkside, East Herrington.
Say No signs, Durham Road Parkside, East Herrington.

Wearsiders worried about proposed new housing on areas of Green Belt, pitches for travellers and other plans for the Sunderland area are being invited to a public meeting next week.

The North East branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is holding the gathering on Wednesday at the National Reserve Club in Albion Place in the city centre after multiple concerns were raised about Sunderland Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan (CSDP).

Say No signs, Durham Road Parkside, East Herrington.

Say No signs, Durham Road Parkside, East Herrington.

The plan outlines ideas for future development in the borough and has already sparked anger in Springwell Village where residents are opposed to possible housing on the Green Belt, and in Hetton, where a pitch for travellers to use for overnight stays has been proposed.

But Richard Cowen, chairman of the Campaign, said: “Although there is anger in Springwell and Hetton about the plan, plenty of other issues have been also raised and we wanted to give people a chance to hear what is being proposed by the council and what is being opposed by groups and by residents.

“These are hugely important plans for the people of Sunderland, potentially shaping the future, and it is important that individuals and communities know that now is their moment to have their say.

“The council actively wants feedback on the document and wants to hear what local people want to say about it but we only have until Monday, October 2 to make submissions.

Residents campaigning to save West Park attend a public meeting at Middle Herrington Methodist Church

Residents campaigning to save West Park attend a public meeting at Middle Herrington Methodist Church

“So we thought the best way forward was to have a public meeting so that everyone can share their feelings and plan what they want to say and we could explain how the Local Plan works.

”We would love to see a good turnout because the Plan potentially affects everyone in Sunderland.”

The council has said that 13,824 more homes are needed by 2033, with an average of 768 to be built a year to help deal with the expected population increase – many of these on greenbelt land.

Residents in the Herrington area have already held meetings to register their unhappiness that 70 executive homes could be built on West Park.

Richard Cowen, chairman of the Campaign for Rural England organisation.

Richard Cowen, chairman of the Campaign for Rural England organisation.

As well as anyone from the borough of Sunderland, people living in South Tyneside are also invited to come along as the plan has the scope to have an affect on people living in Cleadon, Whitburn and the Boldon areas.

Iain Fairlamb, head of planning and regeneration at Sunderland City Council, has previously said that the authority welcomes all feedback from residents and that they can give their views on the proposals via a consultation at www.sunderland.gov.uk/CSDP.

The meeting, which begins at 7pm will be informal and un-minuted.

Anyone who would like further information should contact CPRE secretary Gillan Gibson by emailing: gillan_gibson@yahoo.co.uk.