Plans revealed for historic buildings in Sunderland city centre
Historic buildings in Sunderland city centre are set for a major revamp under new proposals lodged with planning bosses.
The buildings, at 177 High Street West and 1-2 Villiers Street, have been earmarked for a major restoration project following a funding boost in 2021.
The properties date back to the late 18th century from when Old Sunderland, which had begun in the East End, started to expand westwards into Sunniside and what is now the city centre.
Working in partnership, the Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT) and Sunderland City Council secured funding of £103,000 to help bring the properties back to life and attract more investment to the area.
Now a planning application has been submitted outlining proposals for the restoration work.
According to planning documents from TWBPT, the site has suffered from a “lack of maintenance and vandalism” leading to a “significant deterioration of the building fabric and structure.”
If new plans are approved, the site would be converted into two self-contained retail units, a community/learning facility and an office on the ground floor level.
The first floor would offer staff and toilet facilities, a meeting/multi-purpose room with access to a balcony and a self-contained one-bedroom apartment.
In addition, a second self-contained one-bedroom apartment is proposed on the second floor.
The buildings, which have been owned by Sunderland City Council for around a decade, sit within the Old Riverside Sunderland Conservation Area and Sunderland’s Historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).
A number of historic properties have already seen work to bring them back to life as part of the HAZ, including restoration works at 170-175 High Street West.
Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust plan to take over 177 High Street West and 1-2 Villiers Street to bring the restoration scheme forward.
New shop fronts with internal roller shutters are planned, alongside a replacement roof with three dual-pitch roof lights, new windows and the creation of a balcony with steel balustrades to the west elevation.
A planning statement goes on to say: “The overall design intention for the scheme is to retain historic features where possible to enhance the character of the building and its impact on the wider conservation area.
“This will also include improvements as required as part of building regulations including accessibility, thermal and acoustic requirements.”
A final decision on the scheme is expected by early March 2020.
Comments on the application can be made by writing to the council’s planning department or leaving a comment on its online portal.
For more information, visit online-applications.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: 20/02428/FU4