Decision date set for city centre apartments plan in Sunderland's Fawcett Street

Proposals for new apartments in Sunderland city centre are set to go before councillors for decision next week.

By Chris Binding
Friday, 10th June 2022, 3:43 pm

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Back in 2021, a planning application was submitted to Sunderland City Council for the vacant PerfectHome store at 59 Fawcett Street.

The scheme aimed to convert the upper floors and roof space to create residential apartments as well as a rear extension.

During the planning process, the proposals were revised resulting in the removal of a single unit and amendments to the physical appearance of the rear roof.

59 Fawcett Street, Sunderland. Picture c/o Google Streetview

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The final scheme, which will be discussed by the council’s Planning and Highways Committee next week, proposes 13 apartments.

This would see 10 apartments accommodated within the confines of the existing floors, with a further three apartments proposed within a new third-floor extension.

According to planning documents, the housing mix would be 11 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments with integrated living rooms and kitchens.

The ground floor would also be “substantially retained for retail purposes”, a planning report confirms, “although a limited section will be lost to facilitate the new independent entry/corridor access to the apartments”.

Council planning officers have deemed the scheme acceptable and recommended it for approval, subject to a section 106 legal agreement.

This is expected to secure financial contributions from the developer towards mitigation measures to help reduce impacts on nature sites.

A report prepared by council officers reads: “In conclusion, the development accords with the relevant development plan policies by contributing positively to the vitality of the city centre through the delivery of new homes within vacant upper floors.

“The impact of the development on the character and appearance of the Sunniside Conservation Area is acceptable whilst appropriate levels of amenity will be afforded to prospective occupants.

“The ecological implications have been assessed and subject to relevant conditions and a financial contribution towards coastal protection to be made via a Section 106 agreement, the scheme is considered to be acceptable.”

The report adds: “The development will contribute positively to the vibrancy of the city centre and towards housing delivery by bringing empty upper floor space back into a viable use within a highly sustainable locality”.

A decision on the apartment scheme is expected at the next meeting of the council’s Planning and Highways Committee on Monday, June 13.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at City Hall from 5.30pm and will be open to the public.