Plans approved for new Sunderland care home on former car sales site left empty for years

Plans for a specialist care home development on Wearside have been given the stamp of approval by city councillors.
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Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee, this week, approved plans for a long-vacant former car sales garage site in the Castle ward.

The land sits on the junction of North Hylton Road and Castletown Way, near a Lidl supermarket, and was cleared around 10 years ago.

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New proposals from applicant Verum Victum Healthcare aimed to build a 94-unit care home on the site catering for a range of needs.

Proposed site for care home development off North Hylton Road, Sunderland. Picture: Google MapsProposed site for care home development off North Hylton Road, Sunderland. Picture: Google Maps
Proposed site for care home development off North Hylton Road, Sunderland. Picture: Google Maps

The development proposed 58 apartments for extra care, specialist care and assisted living accommodation and a 36-bed intermediate care facility.

Submitted designs showed the building forming an ‘F’ shape, with the main focus around a ‘horseshoe’ section with a central communal garden, and dedicated parking facilities.

A planning statement submitted with the application added the facility would enhance independence as well as providing specialist dementia care and provision to “support the timely discharge from hospital”.

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Plans were discussed by members of the Planning and Highways Committee on March 6, 2023, at City Hall.

A report prepared by council planning officers ahead of the meeting said the plans would “provide a community facility and contribute to meeting a specialist housing need”.

It was noted that plans would have an acceptable design and “no unacceptable impacts in relation to sustainable travel and highway safety, ecology, flooding / drainage and contamination”.

During public consultation on the plans, one comment was received asking about the hand car wash business that currently operates on part of the site.

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A council report confirmed that if planning permission is granted for the care home, “the temporary car wash facility on the site would cease”.

After being put to the vote, the plans won unanimous support from city councillors on the Planning and Highways Committee.

Councillor Stephen Foster, who represents the Castle ward, welcomed the development and planned improvements to the site.

Cllr Foster said: “It’s an excellent development and it’s going to improve that corner of North Hylton Road which has needed improving for years.”

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A council committee report states 26 members of staff would be employed at the care home, with 21 working during the daytime and five working overnight.

Under planning conditions, the development must be brought forward within three years.