Former Sunderland garage to become bathroom warehouse and showroom after plans approved

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Green light for bathroom warehouse and showroom at former garage

Plans to convert a former MOT garage on Wearside into a bathroom warehouse and showroom have been given the green light.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has approved a planning application for unit 1-2 at Inkerman Street in the Southwick ward.

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The building, which sits opposite the Halfords Autocentre as part of a wider trade park, was once an MOT garage.

Unit 1-2, Inkerman Street, Sunderland (August, 2023)Unit 1-2, Inkerman Street, Sunderland (August, 2023)
Unit 1-2, Inkerman Street, Sunderland (August, 2023)

New plans from Eskmuir Securities Limited, submitted earlier this year, aimed to change the use of the unit to a bathroom warehouse and trade counter/showroom area, along with associated works.

A cover letter submitted to council officials named the proposed tenant for the unit as Clifton Trade Bathrooms Limited.

Submitted floor plans also showed how the building would be subdivided, with several bathroom showroom display areas, a main counter, office space, a trade display area and a warehouse section, as well as toilet facilities.

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After considering the planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on November 17, 2023.

A council decision report said the plans would bring economic and employment benefits, with eight full-time employment positions expected to be created as the “business matures”.

To meet council policies, council planners imposed a condition on the proportion of the unit which could be used as a trade counter, equating to around 14.5 per cent of the total floor area.

A further condition was added to “stipulate that only goods stored within the warehouse/storage areas of the premises can be displayed at, and sold from, the trade counter/showroom area”.

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The council decision report added: “No external alterations are proposed and given this; it would not be considered that the proposal would negatively impact the visual amenity of the area.

“It is noted that the former use of the building would have provided a number of comings and goings from site during its operation in terms of employees, customers, servicing, and delivery, whilst the site is located in Low Southwick Key Employment Area and is remote from residential properties.

“As such, the proposed use does not give rise to any obvious amenity concerns”.

The building has been advertised by commercial property surveyors Lofthouse and Partners and described in an online listing as a ‘workshop/trade counter premises’ to let.

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Under planning conditions, the change of use must be brought forward within three years.

For more information on the planning application or council decision, visit Sunderland City Council’s planning portal website and search reference: 23/01822/FUL