New £750,000 restaurant and shop space aims to enhance Sunderland’s seafront buzz

Pier Point, Phase 2 build on Marine Walk, Roker
Pier Point, Phase 2 build on Marine Walk, Roker
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A new £750,000 seafront project for Sunderland has been given the green light.

The building - which could be used by a number of businesses, such as a restaurant, retail company or takeaway and which is expected to create at least 30 jobs - has been given the go-ahead for Roker seafront.

Despite some objections from residents, members of Sunderland City Council’s planning and highways committee backed the proposal to build a new, two-storey multi-use building in Marine Walk as Phase Two of the Pier Point development.

Committee members heard objections included the loss of open space, the impact on residents and concerns the design did not enhance the area.

There were also issues raised over parking and road safety.

However, planning officers found the concerns did not warrant turning down the plan and recommended the application be approved.

Marine Walk attracts people from all over

Craig Fitzakerly

The report into the project, said: “The building’s form, styling and proposed materials take inspiration from the traditional timber buildings that historically lined the lower promenade.”

Craig Fitzakerly, one of the developers, told the members at the meeting the first phase of the redevelopment in Marine Walk, which houses various food outlets and which they had also ploughed £750,000 into, had been a huge success.

He said: “The new rejuvinated Marine Walk attracts people from all over.

“A photograph of it has even been used at Newcastle Airport to advertise Sunderland.”

The architect said the site had also attracted attention from several television programmes and the increased footfall had also encouraged other businesses to open there.

He claims around 30 jobs have been created due to it and up to 30 more could be made through the new development.

Mr Fitzakerly said: “We are Sunderland people and we want to invest money on our own home doorstep.”

He added they had support from the Seafront Traders’ Association for the project and had already had a lot of interest in the proposed building, including from an Italian restaurant.

Mr Fitzakerly said the nature of the building is that it could be used by one large business, or easily divided for a few smaller ones.