Empty offices to become apartments after plans approved

Plans to transform former offices into apartments have been given the green light.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 3:45 pm

A planning application was lodged with Sunderland City Council in 2020 to change the use of office space at 4 Front Street in the Fence Houses area.

According to planning documents, the site has been vacant for several years and is becoming a target for vandals and antisocial behaviour.

New plans aimed to change the upper offices into five apartments, including four one-bed units and one two-bed unit.

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The apartments will take shape in Front Street, Fence Houses

Following consultation, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved the application on Tuesday, February 2.

As part of the plans, the existing ground floor will be subdivided into a shop unit and workshop/storage unit alongside works to windows.

Ground floor entrances will also be retained and used as access to all floors.

Under planning conditions, work must be brought forward within the next three years.

In addition, no apartments can be occupied until off-street parking and cycle storage facilities have been “laid out and made freely available” for tenants.

A council report goes on to say: “This parking area and cycle storage shall then be maintained as such and permanently reserved for the parking of vehicles and cycle storage for these occupants to ensure that adequate and satisfactory provision is made for the off-street parking of vehicles and cycles.”

Planning officers drew up a report on the application and sought views from relevant agencies as well as members of the public before making a decision on the scheme.

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