Plans for 250-home housing estate in Sunderland stalled for last-ditch talks with the council

A major housing development on Wearside has been stalled to allow for last-ditch talks with the council.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 12:32 pm

In 2017, outline planning permission was granted for 250 homes on a large site in the Silksworth area.

At the time, the plans from Partner Construction Ltd sparked dozens of objections from residents in the area.

Persimmon Homes have since taken over the site, pushing forward with a ‘reserved matters’ application which includes details of layout, scale and design.

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An aerial view from Google Maps of the site in question

At a meeting to decide the application, the council’s area development control sub-committee voted to put the plans on hold.

Issues included 13 homes breaching council guidelines in relation to impacts on nearby street, Vicarage Close.

Councillors also raised traffic safety fears about the access to the site from Silksworth Road and the cumulative impact of traffic from other housing developments in the area.

Silksworth ward councillor and Vicarage Close resident, Peter Gibson, raised concerns about “overcrowding” on the site.

“I know there’s a swathe of land left there so they can see a bit green, but virtually they’re going to be looking into other people’s windows,” he told the meeting at Sunderland Civic Centre.

Coun Gibson added reducing the development by two properties may get the “blessings of the majority of people on Vicarage Close.”

Previous outline permission for the development and highways surveys concluded local roads would be able to deal with traffic from the development.

But sub-committee chairman, Coun Phil Tye, was concerned about the extra impact of traffic from Doxford Park cutting through the Silksworth area.

Sub-committee member, Coun Patricia Smith, added the road serving the development already suffered from “near misses” and would not be wide enough for traffic from the new homes.

She told the meeting: “It might have been deemed acceptable by the professionals but it’s not deemed acceptable by the people who live in that area and know that road, including the ward councillors.”

Following discussion, councillors agreed it was best to approach issues through “coordination and cooperation.”

Although council officers recommended the plans for approval, Permission Homes agreed to enter into negotiations to potentially amend the scheme.

The housing plans are expected to be heard again at a special meeting in coming months.