Plans for new footbridge over River Wear - linking city centre with Stadium of Light - take step forward

Plans for a new footbridge across the River Wear have taken another step towards becoming reality following a decision by city leaders.
An image of how the new bridge could lookAn image of how the new bridge could look
An image of how the new bridge could look

The project, which would link Sunderland city centre with the Stadium of Light, has already been backed by football club captain Max Power and Roker Park legend Jimmy Montgomery.

This week, Sunderland City Council’s leading councillors agreed to send the scheme to the Government.

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Once ministers give the proposal the green light, work will begin on a formal planning application.

“Statutory permissions are necessary to consent bridge crossings across rivers, as was the case for the Northern Spire bridge,” said councillor Rebecca Atkinson, cabinet member for Dynamic City.

“Cabinet approval is sought to progress with the following two statutory instrument processes in respect of the new Wear footbridge project as part of delivering the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan.”

Cllr Atkinson was speaking at a cabinet meeting on November 17, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

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The two processes include submission to Government and an application to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for a marine licence.

Public notices will be published and if objections to the scheme are submitted, both the Government and the MMO will decide whether to hold public inquiries.

Plans for the bridge were first set out last year and form part of the wider Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, a major redevelopment scheme centred around the former Vaux site.

The new bridge is expected to be roughly the same height as the existing Wearmouth Bridge and will not reduce clearance needed for river traffic.

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Leader of Sunderland City Council, councillor Graeme Miller, described the cabinet decision as a “very important move forward.”

Cabinet member for Healthy City, councillor Dr Geoff Walker, added: “It’s good to see Riverside Sunderland and this part of the jigsaw moving forward at the pace that we are.

“At the end of the day, we’re moving towards something the residents of Sunderland can be very very proud of in terms of the Riverside Sunderland development.”

The costs of preparing and making the applications for the Wear footbridge will be met from council capital funding within the scheme’s ‘feasibility and design’ project.

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