Government minister gives go ahead for new footbridge over Wear in Sunderland riverside masterplan

Plans for a new cycle and footbridge across the River Wear in Sunderland have been given the green light by a government minister.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:00 am

Sunderland City Council’s bridge proposal has been approved by the government’s Secretary of State for Transport.

A public notice published by the Secretary of State confirms it “authorises the Council to construct the new River Wear High Level footbridge (the Footbridge) over the navigable waters of the River Wear in order to connect the Council’s Vaux Site and the Sheepfolds area of the City Centre pursuant to the Council’s Riverside Development Plan.”

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How the new footbridge could look

The bridge will also provide better links to the university and residential facilities north of the river.

It forms part of the wider Riverside Sunderland Masterplan 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.

A formal planning application is expected to be made soon.

The new bridge will connect the city centre with the Stadium of Light.

Councillor Graeme Miller, the leader of Sunderland City Council, previously said: “We’ve had some fantastic expressions of support for this crossing, which will boost connectivity between the north and south of the river, something that is key as we look to develop the whole Riverside Sunderland site into a vibrant place to live, work and play.

"By moving to the next stage, and seeking permission from the Government, we can ensure that we are on track to deliver this important piece of infrastructure for the city by 2023.”

Two bridges are included in the council’s £100m-plus masterplan for the riverside which aims to make Sunderland a “magnet city” by creating up to 10,000 new jobs and 1,000 new homes.

People can look at the footbridge scheme at the civic centre during working hours by appointment by emailing [email protected] or calling 07901737078.

Anyone wishing to question the validity of the approval has six weeks from 30 July 2021 to apply to the High Court to suspend or quash it.

Contact G Patrick, Department for Transport, Tyneside House, Skinnerburn Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 7AR, Ref: NATTRAN/NE/HAO/239.

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