Hundreds of new jobs and homes could be in the pipeline this year as part of a planned redevelopment scheme on a historic Sunderland site.
Barratt Developments North East division has announced it wants to build about 300 new homes on the former Cherry Knowle hospital site in Ryhope.
Should it go ahead, the scheme would create 300 new jobs and 22 apprenticeships.
A spokesman for Barratt said the firm plans to submit a planning application to Sunderland City Council in the spring. Subject to approval, it aims to complete the work in the next five years.
Barratt’s plans would also see the creation of 11 new public open spaces, covering 17.5 hectares, including 5.6 hectares of meadows and grassland.
Councillor Mel Speding, Cabinet Secretary of Sunderland City Council, said the authority will be considering the application in due course, adding: “Interest in new housing developments and planning applications in our city are always welcome.
“Any Barratt planning application would be considered in due course.
“The Cherry Knowle site has already been identified by the city council as a key part of the South Sunderland Growth Area (SSGA).
“This growth area includes land to the north of Burdon Lane, land at Chapelgarth, and at south Ryhope.
“Combined, these sites have the potential to provide approximately 3,000 new homes and meet a fifth of the city’s future housing need. There are major infrastructure requirements because of the size and scale of this possible growth area.
“New infrastructure such as roads and schools will be needed and the council has been and continues to give these consideration.
“A blueprint and delivery plan to help progress this growth area is being considered at our cabinet meeting next week.”
Ryhope councillor Alan Emerson welcomed the development and said it was a positive thing for Sunderland.
“We desperately need new housing of all kinds – both social, executive and middle range housing,” he said. “With housing comes more jobs, so I am quite happy with it.”
Barratt and David Wilson Homes North East’s managing director, Mike Roberts, said: “Barratt Developments are really excited to be working with the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the former Cherry Knowle Hospital in Ryhope. Phase 1 will comprise of 305 new homes from the Barratt and David Wilson brands.
“Not only will it deliver these much needed new homes, which will range from two-bed to five-bed and included affordable homes, the project brings with it a huge economic boost to the region. Construction spend will be in excess of £30m, with over 90% of this being spent at local suppliers and on local labour. It will secure over 300 jobs and deliver 22 apprentice and 20 work placements over its life.”