Major construction work set to begin on 'Chester Gate' development at Pennywell off the A19 at Sunderland

Major construction work is about to begin on a multi-million pound housing development which developers say will form a new “city gateway” on land which has sat empty for a decade.

By Ross Robertson
Tuesday, 06 August, 2019, 14:01
Councillor Rebecca Atkinson (centre), with Gentoo's CEO, Nigel Wilson (left) and Sunderland City Council Leader, Councillor Graeme Miller (right)

Building work at Sunderland’s new flagship housing development, Chester Gate, is set to get underway after city leaders formerly broke ground at the site.

The development, which is being constructed by Gentoo Homes – the private housebuilding wing of Gentoo Group – sits at the gateway to the city from the A19 on the old Pennywell estate off Chester Road in Sunderland.

The first phase of the new development will feature 118 new homes for sale, with a new access road from Chester Road.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive at Gentoo Group, said: “It is great news for Sunderland that work is finally beginning at Chester Gate. This is a hugely important regeneration project for the city and will provide much needed high quality new housing for local residents.

“It is also a great example of how Gentoo Homes can build homes for sale and generate a surplus that helps us to deliver new affordable homes to rent.”

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Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said “At our most recent full council meeting, the council agreed and updated its housing commitments. These include that we must prioritise the building of housing for all residents, young or old, and for all types of housing.

“Work on this new development and Gentoo’s recent pledge on 900 new homes for renters are part of this housing commitment and to seeing a more dynamic and vibrant Sunderland.”

Councillor leader Graeme Miller, said: “This council is very keen to see more housing of all kinds developed in our city. Using the guidelines and rules that the Government is giving to all councils, Sunderland will be seeing thousands of new homes built in coming years.

“As a council we are always looking at options and ideas to work with developers and other partners. This is exactly what is happening with the Chester Gate development as the council is contributing £2million highways works to help support Gentoo's investment.”

“The new homes on this gateway site are a major investment and vote of confidence in our city that this council very much supports.”Highway and pedestrian route changesSunderland City Council will be carrying out major highways improvements along Chester Road and “enabling works” have already begun on part of the site.New traffic lights will be installed at the new entrance to Chester Gate, along with a new pedestrian crossing that will replace the existing under pass, which will be permanently blocked off.The site, which has sat empty and open since the former housing in the area was leveled a decade ago, will be fully fenced off up to existing properties on the boundary of the site.Site traffic will access the development via Prestbury Road and then Pickering Road, with working hours on the site set to 7:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday, whilst work may also take place on Saturday between 8:00am and 2:00pm.Future developmentThe vacant land is earmarked for 500 homes in total, however, plans for future phases beyond the initial 118 properties of the development are yet to be confirmed.Gentoo recently announced its plan to invest £117million in 900 additional homes to rent in Sunderland as part of a new Affordable Homes Programme.