Plans approved for huge new housing development in shadow of Penshaw Monument, despite objections

Councillors have once again approved plans for a large housing estate in the shadow of Sunderland’s Penshaw Monument, following further objections from residents.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 4:27 pm

The application involved full planning permission for the first phase of 116 homes, along with outline planning permission for 324 homes, with all matters such as design and scale reserved until a later date.

However, due to further objections during the consultation, the proposals had to return before the city council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee on Tuesday evening – where councillors once again approved the proposals, agreeing with the recommendation of planning officers.

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The site in question.

Four representations were submitted since the last meeting. New concerns raised included worries over the amount of pollution generated by the new development.

However officers said the application included an appraisal setting out commitments to utilising sustainable construction techniques, with design features to ensure energy performance standards are exceeded.

Cllr Heather Fagan, speaking at the meeting, raised concerns generally over applications being approved ahead of consultation periods concluding however.

She said: “This causes a lot of bad feelings with residents, because they think it’s a foregone conclusion and it’s going to go through.”

Committee chair Cllr Melanie Thornton agreed, adding they need to “learn a lesson from this one”.

Planning officers responded stating they include the mechanism to bring an application back before councillors, as happened in this case, and it ensures proposals are considered “as soon as possible”

At the time of the previous meeting, council planners had received more than 270 objections to the proposals, with concerns ranging from impacts on local services and highways infrastructure, to the loss of countryside and quality of development.

However planning officers said the scheme would deliver new housing, employment and economic benefits.

The site, bordered by the A183 Chester Road and Chislehurst Road, was previously allocated for housing in Sunderland City Council’s adopted Core Strategy and Development Plan (CSDP), or ‘local plan.’

Despite opposition to housing development, the site was ‘deleted’ from the green belt following an ‘examination in public’ where the CSDP was assessed by a government-appointed planning inspector.

The approval is subject to a section 106 legal agreement, allowing the council’s planning authority to secure 15% on-site affordable housing and contributions from developers towards local improvements.

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