Sunderland's Park Lane Market set to be demolished as leaders aim to 'progress new uses' for the site

Empty stalls and ageing structures at a Sunderland city centre market site could soon face the bulldozers under new plans.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 4:39 pm

Sunderland City Council has lodged an application with its own planning department to demolish the majority of units at Park Lane Market.

The site, near the city’s bus interchange, links Park Lane and Holmeside and houses a range of retail units.

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Park Lane Market in November 2020

Once popular among savvy shoppers and rich in heritage, the market has become rundown in recent years, despite some efforts to bring it back to its former glory.

In 2017, the market was spruced up for Christmas and used as a base for a festive market by Sunderland BID.

Students from the nearby city campus of Sunderland College were drafted in to help tidy it up and paint units.

One Sunderland business leader said at the time the market was an important part of the city centre’s heritage and was hopeful it was turning a corner to a brighter future.

Park Lane Market in November 2020

But council chiefs say several of the buildings at the market have “exceeded their useful economic lifespan” with the demolition plans aiming to “progress and encourage new uses for the site.”

The works are planned for market units 6-17 and 25-30 and the two free-standing stalls in the main courtyard.

In addition, the covered steel/plastic pedestrian walkway at the site is sidelined for removal.

The planning application reads: “The buildings have exceeded their useful economic lifespan and are now redundant.

Park Lane Market in November 2020

“Demolition [would] be on the grounds of economy, health and safety and to prevent antisocial behaviour.”

According to planning documents, the works would be carried out with regard to all ecology and wildlife legislation.

Boundary walls would be structurally supported with columns “salvaged” from the dismantling of the pedestrian walkway.

And when demolition work is completed, the site would be cleared of all debris and secured to prevent public access.

Park Lane Market in November 2020

A demolition statement goes on to say: “The existing perimeter walls, gates and fencing are to be retained, with the perimeter walls to the north and west being structurally strengthened with steel columns.

“All arisings are to be separated, sorted, removed from site, taken to the relative recycling stations and recycled.

“All rubble, concrete, brickwork, etc is to be crushed and used as aggregates.”

The council hopes to start the works next month, with the project estimated for completion in late January 2021.

Units 31-36 and the covered market entrance off Holmeside are not included in the demolition plan.

Park Lane Market in November 2020

A Sunderland City Council spokesperson added: “The city council is continuing its works on improving all of Sunderland in line with the City Plan for a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant city, and this includes encouraging new development opportunities.

“Clearing the former Park Lane Market will help progress and encourage new uses for the site.”

Comments on the application can be made by writing to the council’s planning department or commenting on its online portal.

For more details, visit and search planning reference: 20/02047/DEM

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Park Lane Market in 2000