Decision day set for 49-home development in Washington on land 'deleted' from Green Belt

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Plans for a new housing development in Washington are set to go before city councillors for decision next week.

Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee are due to discuss proposals for a site to the north of Stone Cellar Road in the Washington West ward.

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A total of 49 homes are proposed at the Usworth site as well as footpath improvement works, surface water flood attenuation and the provision of 15% affordable housing.

Land north of Stone Cellar Road , Usworth Picture: Google Maps Land north of Stone Cellar Road , Usworth Picture: Google Maps
Land north of Stone Cellar Road , Usworth Picture: Google Maps

This equates to five ‘discount market value’ properties and two properties under a ‘first homes’ scheme.

In terms of the housing mix across the whole development, 30 three-bedroom dwellings and 19 four-bedroom dwellings are proposed under the planning application.

During council consultation on the plans three public objections were submitted to the council, raising concerns ranging from increased traffic and noise to highway safety and loss of privacy.

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A report prepared by council planning officers ahead of a decision-making meeting next week has recommended the 49-home estate for approval.

Any planning approval would be subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement, a legal agreement typically used to secure funds from developers to reduce the impact of developments.

Financial contributions have been requested towards education provision in the area, the off-site delivery of measures to boost biodiversity, pedestrian improvement works, outdoor play facilities and on-site affordable housing.

The council committee report adds: “It must also be taken into account that the proposed development will deliver significant benefits, in terms of providing housing at a site allocated for such development in the development plan and assisting the council in meeting, and potentially exceeding, its stated housing supply and delivery targets.

“The development will also deliver benefits in terms of expanding housing availability and choice in the area, including new affordable housing, and it will also provide employment and economic benefits in that new residents will be able to support existing shops, services and facilities in the locality”.

The site is classed as a housing growth area within Sunderland City Council’s Core Strategy and Development Plan, or ‘local plan’.

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It was previously ‘deleted’ from the Green Belt and allocated for housing following the adoption of the council’s local plan back in 2020.

According to a statement on Taylor Wimpey’s website, the site proposed for housing was formerly used as a practice area for the adjacent golf course within the grounds of George Washington Hotel and Golf Club.

The final decision on the housing plan rests with members of the Planning and Highways Committee, who will next meet on Monday, July 31.

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