Plans to turn Sunderland former golf course into country park with petting zoo and garden centre

Residents are being urged to have their say on plans to turn a former golf course into a new country park this week.

Sunderland City Council is developing plans to transform the 60-hectare former Elemore golf course in Hetton and is holding an open day at the site from 1pm on Thursday, July 1.Plans for the site include:

- a garden centre and café;

- a heritage, interpretation and visitor centre;

The former Elemore golf courseThe former Elemore golf course
The former Elemore golf course

- improvements to the Stephenson Trail including the possible installation of a miniature railway along the lines of the historic Hetton Railway at the entrance to the trail;

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- an eco zone aimed at protecting and enhancing existing habitats;

- country walks with seating, bird hides, sculpture and additional interpretation;

- camping/glamping facilities;

- a natural play playground;

- a livestock area which could be used as a visitor attraction.

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The city council approved £500,000 of capital funding to support the development, in addition to £100,000 allocated to the project by the Coalfield Area Committee from its Neighbourhood Capital Programme and £50,000 to develop the adjacent Stephenson trail in March.

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The council's East and West Area Committees have also each allocated £50,000 to develop the east and west sections of the Stephenson trail which stretches from Elemore to Sunderland Riverside.

Coun Claire Rowntree, Deputy Council Leader of Sunderland City Council who chairs the Elemore Project Group, said: “It’s been brilliant working with local residents on the plans for this site and hearing how they think it should be transformed.

"I’m especially keen that this project builds on the rich heritage of the area and also that we build in a social enterprise and training element so that local residents can be part of the site’s journey.”

The open day is being held between 1pm and 4pm at Elemore Lane, adjacent to the former clubhouse. Anyone planning to attend is being advised to dress for the weather as the event is being held outdoors in the car park of the former clubhouse.

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Residents can also give their views through Lets Talk Elemore -

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