Apartments plan for historic Sunderland HSBC bank building will help 'safeguard' its future, say developers

Plans to turn a former bank in Sunderland city centre into apartments are set to be decided next week.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 7:45 am

The Grade II-Listed building was originally built in 1902 and sits at number 14 on the corner with St Thomas Street, opposite other banks which are also listed buildings.

In February, it was revealed the site had been sold subject to contracts being signed.

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The former HSBC bank building in Fawcett Street, Sunderland

The following month, X8 Properties Ltd lodged an application to convert the space into 15 apartments and a retail unit on the ground floor.

Sunderland City Council’s planning authority have recommended the plans for approval.

However, the final say rests with the council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee which will meet on Friday, September 4, to discuss the scheme.

This includes a new shopfront and doorway to the building’s southern elevation, a doorway to a bin storage area to the east and secure cycle parking.

In 2011, HSBC moved its remaining Fawcett Street operations to its Market Square site in Sunderland city centre.

Since this date, the old HSBC branch building has been unused and protected by fabric covering.

Developers have said the apartment scheme will help to safeguard the building and improve the appearance of the street.

In a report to councillors, council highways bosses say the site is well served by public transport with a ‘city centre residents parking scheme’ also available for residents with cars.

Meanwhile, the Tyne and Wear Archaeologist has called for historic building recording to take place before any works start on site.

A decision on the plans will be made at next week’s planning hearing which will be held remotely and broadcast live on the council’s YouTube channel ‘sunderlandgov’.

If approved, the applicant is expected to provide a financial contribution to the council, via a section 106 agreement, to reduce the impact of the development on coastal nature sites.

The meeting starts at 2pm and can viewed here: youtu.be/m-48k024eyw

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