Plans for future of former Sunderland social club site look set for rejection

Plans for an open storage area on the site of a former city social club look set for rejection over noise and highway safety fears.

In 2017, Southwick Social Club was demolished after falling in disrepair with an application aiming to transform the site into a open storage site with high security fencing.

After concerns were raised by Sunderland City Council (SCC) about the “appropriateness of land” and lack of information about the type/nature of storage, the plans were withdrawn.

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Next week, the council’s area development control committee will discuss a re-submitted application for the site which includes open storage, 48 car parking spaces, fencing and a portacabin.

Applicant Tony Mordew aims to operate the site between 8am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

However, councillors will be asked to reject the application over concerns about the site location, lack of information on land use and potential impact on nearby residents.

A committee report states the lack of detail about what will be stored creates difficulties in offering a “fully informed opinion” on whether the site will impact residents.

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It reads: “It is not unreasonable to suggest that an open consent for storage has the potential to give rise to scenarios where stored material will appear obtrusive and harmful to the visual amenity of the area in the future.”

Reasons for rejection also include the potential impact on the setting of the nearby Grade-II listed Holy Trinity Church and noise or disturbance that could be caused by vehicles using the site.

The report adds the “poor quality access and existing level of street parking on Kings Road” could affect highway safety in the area.

The final decision on the application will be made at Sunderland Civic Centre on August 7 with the meeting kicking off at 3.45pm.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service