Pizza restaurant set for third disappointment over extension plans in latest chapter of saga

A Sunderland restaurant’s bid to improve facilities for staff and customers could be set for further disappointment when proposals go before councillors next week.

The venue, located in Newbottle, Houghton, is looking to gain permission for a two-storey extension to the rear of the property to provide increased kitchen facilities and the creation of a staff room.

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Two similar applications were previously submitted to the city council from the restaurant and both were refused, in February and July 2022 respectively.

The pizza restaurant is facing refusal again. Picture c/o Google Streetview.

A council report notes reasons for past refusals related to the “adverse visual impact of the development” and how it would affect nearby residential properties, including “overlooking and consequent loss of privacy”.

It adds the main difference between the previous submissions and the current proposal is that the earlier refused schemes involved a wider extension to provide a store at basement level with a smokers’ terrace above.

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However a report from council planning officers, published ahead of Thursday’s committee meeting, is again recommending the proposals are refused by councillors.

It said: “The proposal would be detrimental to the amenities of adjacent residential properties by reason of visual intrusion, over dominance and loss of outlook.”

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A total of five letters of objection have been submitted to the council from residents nearby raising concerns over the proposals.

These include how the development could lead to an increase in street parking and traffic issues, worries the extension will be “overbearing” and that it could lead to increased litter and potentially “attract vermin”.

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The first application for the extension by the restaurant was refused in February under delegated powers, before the subsequent proposals were refused by the planning committee in July.

After being put to the vote, six councillors voted to refuse the plans and three councillors voted for approval.

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At that meeting, a speaker on behalf of the venue said the proposals would improve operations and allow the business to better cater for customers with dietary or allergy requirements, as well as improving working conditions.

Councillor Melanie Thornton, chair of the Planning and Highways Committee, suggested an amended application could win favour from the panel in future.

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Thursday’s (September 22) meeting is scheduled to start at 6.30pm at Sunderland City Hall and will be open to the public.