Plans approved for Sunderland STACK shipping container village on site of former Seaburn Centre
Bars, cinema and even a bridal suite could all soon grace the site of the former Seaburn Centre.
Planning bosses at Sunderland City Council have given the green light for the STACK development in Whitburn Road.
The plans, which could create up to 100 new jobs, will imitate the attraction of the same name in Newcastle, with shipping containers housing a range of food and drink offers as well as family entertainment, such as crazy golf, pool, darts and table tennis
“We consider Seaburn to be the jewel in the crown of Sunderland and we want to bring life back to this area,” said Rebecca Taylor, of planning consultancy Cundall, told the North Sunderland Development Control Sub-Committee.
“It is intended catalyst for regeneration on this site until proposals are brought forward.
“We believe the quality of place is critical to the success of the scheme and Stack will reinvigorate this previously successful location.”
Up to 2,000 people will be able to squeeze into the venue at any time, with permission granted for leisure, retail and ‘drinking establishments’, as well as a ‘secret bridal suite’ complete with a private rooftop terrace overlooking the sea.
Seldons Leisureworld, which is next door to the site, submitted a letter to the panel ahead of the meeting supporting the ‘principle of regenerating the site’ but also raised concerns about parking and disturbance from drinkers.
Coun Alex Scullion questioned the provision of a retail offer in the scheme, but was reassured by the applicant any shops on the site would be no larger than about 500 square metres and was more likely to sell buckets and spades than anything detracting from city centre shops.
“I think it’s something that will be very good for the area,” said Fulwell councillor James Doyle.
“I’ve seen how the site has stagnated for a while and will bring some much needed footfall to the area.”
Members of the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans, although council planning officers will be left to rule on aspects such as the colour of the containers.
However, as the development is ‘5,000 square metres of town centre uses, it will also be referred to the government for final approval.