How you can have say on plans to build homes on Sunderland Civic Centre site at public consultation

Members of the public are being urged to have their say on major housing proposals for the site of Sunderland Civic Centre.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 5:32 pm
How housing development at Sunderland Civic Centre site could look

Sunderland City Council is due to relocate to a new purpose-built headquarters at the former Vaux Brewery site later this year as part of a move to fully vacate its ageing base off Burdon Road.

After being chosen by the council to lead the redevelopment of the civic centre site, developer Vistry Partnerships North East aims to demolish the buildings to make way for a huge residential community.

This includes around 300 new homes with public open spaces and pedestrian links to the rest of the city.

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Sunderland Civic Centre

A full planning application is expected to be submitted this month and if approved, demolition and phased development of the civic centre site could start in early 2022.

As proposals for the scheme progress, developers have set up a dedicated website for the project and are looking for public feedback.

Project details will be made available at www.sunderland-civic-centre-consultation.com from Wednesday, August 11 with people able to make comments online.

For those unable to access the website, or for those who wish to discuss the initiative in person, a physical public consultation event will be held on the same day.

This will include a marquee based on grassed open space at the Burdon Road entrance to the civic centre, close to the Park Road traffic lights, between 2pm and 7pm on Wednesday.

Vistry Partnerships North East were selected as the preferred developer for the civic centre site project as council staff move to the new City Hall at Riverside Sunderland.

If planning permission is granted, the new mixed tenure community would include provision of affordable housing and properties for sale – ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom family homes.

The project would also create areas of landscaped open green space and aims to improve the pedestrian and cycling connections to the city centre along historic lines.

In addition, the designs aim to deliver landscape improvements and natural habitat creation to provide pockets of green space for residents and the wider community to enjoy.

Sean Egan, managing director with Vistry Partnerships North East, added: “We are delighted that our bid to create modern, new homes, whilst enhancing the green links to other important parts of the city has been so well received by the council.

“We aim to create an attractive new residential quarter that would sit comfortably within the surrounding architecture, with a focus on green space that encourages community use.

“It would be a fantastic new inclusive neighbourhood, with its own distinctive character, providing a new housing offer on the edge of Ashbrooke and Mowbray Park, whilst benefiting from the close proximity to the city centre.”

The proposed development is based in the St Michael’s ward, with local councillors recently joining a virtual meeting with project developers and council officers overseeing the project.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Conservative ward councillor Michael Dixon stressed the importance of public consultation with city residents going forward.

He added: “Our main message to all concerned was for [developers and council officers] to fully engage with St Michael’s ward residents who live or own property close by, while there is also likely to be massive interest in this development from countless city residents.”

Details on the development will be available from 2pm on Wednesday, August 11 on the consultation website here: www.sunderland-civic-centre-consultation.com