Washington's former Whitehouse social club set to become wedding party venue and offices under new plans

A vacant social club is set for a new lease of life as a ‘functions venue’ under new proposals approved by planning chiefs.

In April 2020, plans were lodged for the Whitehouse Social Club in the Blackfell area of Washington.

According to planning documents published by Sunderland City Council, the site previously housed a social club, betting shop and a two-bedroom flat but is currently ‘redundant.’

New plans from applicant BS Randhawa Property Ltd aim to reopen the building for private functions such as birthdays and wedding parties.

The former Whitehouse social club in Washington

One function room will have a capacity of up to 250 customers while another will be able to cater for 200 customers.

In addition, the redevelopment plans include a hairdresser’s salon and office spaces.

The offices would replace an upper lounge bar and committee room and will house separate businesses to the functions venue.

A transport statement, submitted on behalf of the applicant, adds the venue is in a sustainable location with links to public transport.

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It reads: “Using the council’s car parking standards, the proposed uses would require less car parking spaces than the existing uses.

“In addition to the adjacent public car parks, there are numerous locations in the vicinity with off-street parking spaces: the east-west part of Rushyrig, Knoulberry Road, at the eastern end of Shunner Close, at the western end of Thirlmoor and at the northern end of Gragareth Way.”

Key agencies and members of the public were given the chance to have their say on plans before a decision was made on the application.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved the plans on Friday, October 30.

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The approved opening hours for the function rooms element of the redevelopment would be from 9am to midnight, seven days a week.

Meanwhile, the office units and hair salon business will be able to open between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week.

Under planning conditions, work to redevelop the site must be brought forward within the next three years, or a fresh planning application must be made.

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