Sunderland chiefs defend 500-space car park plans near Doxford International after critic brands project 'environmental vandalism'
Plans to build a new car park for office workers near Doxford International Business Park have been branded ‘environmental vandalism’.
But the scheme has attracted criticism over concerns about the loss of green space and whether there will be enough drivers to fill it.
Dominic McDonough, a Conservative opposition member of Sunderland City Council, said: “Local residents are very worried about these plans as they will destroy a well-used area of green space in our community.
“This car park is not needed and at a time when the Council claims to be focusing on reducing carbon emissions we should be looking at improved public transport and cycle links, rather than bulldozing green areas to accommodate cars.”
He added: “Once we lose our green spaces then they are gone forever.
“The community is united in our belief that this plan is wrong, short sighted and environmental vandalism.”
If approved the plans would allow the construction of a car park on and between Silksworth Road and the B1286 City Way.
Access to the site would be from City Way.
Of the 520 spaces, 21 would be disabled user bays and 15 would be reserved for electric vehicles.
Recent years have seen families living near the major employment park complain about workers parking in residential areas.
But Cllr McDonough has predicted the number of people parking at Doxford will reduce ‘dramatically’ due to more people working from home as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “There have been issues over car parking in and around Doxford International Business Park for several years.
“As with all applications, this proposal will be considered on its merits and with regard to national and local planning policies.
“Public consultation is underway and any comments received will be taken into account as part of the decision-making process.
“The application will be considered by a Planning Committee in due course.”
A decision on the plans is expected by mid-October.