New £6million hotel approved for Seaburn - helping 'add vibrancy' to Sunderland's seafront

Plans for a major hotel development on Sunderland’s seafront have been given the green light.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 6:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 10:15 am

Sign up to our daily newsletter

In recent months, Sunderland City Council bosses have pressed ahead with plans to revive derelict sites in the Seaburn area.

In August, approval was granted for a shipping container retail park designed by the team behind Newcastle’s STACK.

Now, a leisure firm has won planning permission to set up shop on the former Pullman Lodge site, near Martino’s restaurant.

Artist impressions of how the proposed Seaburn Inn could look.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Graeme Miller said: “I’m delighted to see plans approved for another great development in the city.

“We have world-class beaches, and we need to ensure they are maximised with places for families to enjoy.

“The new Seaburn Inn will be somewhere that not only residents from the city can enjoy, but a place for visitors to stay and enjoy the sights of the city, with lovely views over to Seaburn seaside.

“Alongside the STACK, this should deliver a real sense of vibrancy to the area.”

(l-r) Sean Donkin from Inn Collection Group and Sunderland City Council leader, Coun Graeme Miller, at Seaburn.

It comes shortly after Sunderland-based Avant Homes North East announced it had submitted a planning application to construct 85 homes on a section of land behind the cleared Seaburn Centre site.

According to a report prepared for councillors, the Seaburn inn plans represent a £6million investment and will create around 40 jobs.

Designs include a four-storey, 42-bedroom building with two rooms allocated for manager accommodation, a family restaurant on the ground floor and a 66-space parking area.

The plan was voted through on Tuesday October 29 by the council’s area development control sub-committee.

Fulwell ward councillor, James Doyle.

In representations to the council, applicant Inn Collection Group has previously stressed the benefits of the hotel.

This includes boosting Sunderland’s tourism industry, attracting a wider range of overnight visitors and increasing spend in the leisure and retail sectors.

The applicant has also agreed to work to minimise the impact on protected nature sites, from providing information for customers and regular staff training to erecting new coastal signs.

Under a section 106 agreement with the council, the applicant is expected to pay £5,000 to fund the new signage.

At the meeting, Coun Michael Butler asked for clarity on fire safety and the type of cladding that will be used on the hotel.

Councillors heard these details would be dealt with in a separate application to the council’s building regulations department which will iron out all safety issues.

Fulwell councillor James Doyle added: “I think it’s once again positive that we have an application coming forward for the seafront.

“A lot of residents feel as though the area has stagnated for quite a while so it’s good to see this taking place.”

Work on the hotel is expected to start this year with a view to opening at the end of 2020.

‘Another great development in the city’

Coun Miller said: “The Seaburn inn development accompanies a new strategic direction from The Inn Collection Group to develop a completely freehold estate as it continues to roll out ‘buy and build’ growth plans, to more than double its ten-strong portfolio of pubs with rooms by 2022.

“The Alchemy-backed group, which was named Best Pub Employer of up to 500 employees in the national 2019 Publican Awards, will continue to seek out new development opportunities in the Lake District and Yorkshire as well as within its North East England heartland.

“Its most recent new-build developments include The Commissioners Quay Inn, in Blyth and The Amble Inn in Amble, a £4million development which opened in January. The group is opening a new 30-bedroom pub with rooms The Ambleside Inn in Ambleside, Cumbria next month.

“This is the latest visitor accommodation planned for the city, with a Holiday Inn planned for Keel Square that will bring 120-rooms to the city centre.

“The announcements follow news that more people than ever are visiting Sunderland, a six per cent year on year increase, with tourism spend also increasing by some five per cent compared with the year before.”

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group, added: “We’re delighted to have the green light to move forward with plans for what will be a fantastic addition to the seaside in Sunderland.

“The Inn Collection Group has a proven track record in delivering purpose-built inns, operating on a model that provides value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages and home-made pub fare served all day, 365 days a year.

“Seaburn will – we are sure – [will] become a popular addition to our portfolio of pubs with rooms in the north’s best loved destinations including the Northumberland coast, Durham and the Lake District.

“We look forward to seeing it rise from the ground, with a view to opening our doors towards the end of 2020.”