New gym and trade counter among businesses lined up for former carpet store building in Sunderland

A former carpet store in Sunderland could soon house national gym and trade counter businesses following a decision by council planners.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 5:08 pm
Updated Friday, 31st December 2021, 1:35 pm

Earlier in October 2021, Sunderland City Council’s planning department received an application for the former Storey Carpets building off Toll Bar Road in the Ryhope ward.

This included works to subdivide the space and external alterations to make way for a national gym operator and a trade counter firm.

The building already has permission to operate under its existing bulky goods retail permission or as a gym, following a planning decision in 2020.

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The former carpet store in Ryhope.

Plans have also been approved for a new mezzanine floor space to the unit and additional car parking, as well as advertisement consent for new signage.

New proposals aimed to make the space ready for future occupiers by subdividing the existing unit and carrying out external alterations.

This included the addition of a trade counter, with the remainder of the unit remaining in use as a gym and /or health and fitness centre.

Other works also proposed new shop fronts and acoustic fencing to the north of the building.

Following consultation on the application, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on December 23 2021.

A report prepared by planners said the proposed alterations would “relate well to the commercial character of the building and the wider area.”

They also said the plans were acceptable in terms of highway safety and impacts on amenity.

According to planning documents prepared for applicant Adderstone Projects Ltd, more than a dozen jobs would be generated by future occupiers.

This includes 10 full-time equivalent jobs for the gym use and around five full -time equivalent jobs for the trade counter use.

The proposed trade counter unit is also expected to provide ‘click and collect’ lockers which would be based within the building.

A planning statement prepared for the applicant states the proposed works would “allow the two businesses to operate from the unit” and would “bring it back into an effective and beneficial use.”

The planning statement goes on to say: “The principle of development relates to the acceptability of the sub-division of the unit and the accommodation of the trade counter use.

“Having analysed the proposals against the relevant development plan policies and material considerations, we consider that the use is appropriate in relation to the surrounding context and that the benefits of the scheme are notable and tangible.

“This includes bringing back into sustainable use a vacant building, the creation of job opportunities, the promotion of healthy lifestyles and thesupporting of existing businesses.

“The unit [also] lies within a sustainable location within the existing urban area.”

The building forms part of a wider retail development known as Toll Bar Park and sits adjacent to a unit currently occupied by B&M Stores.

For more information on the plans, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 21/02399/FUL

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