Planners could take enforcement action after refusing retrospective permission for Sunderland industrial estate building

Planning chiefs could take enforcement action after a commercial building was erected without planning permission on Wearside.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 6:42 pm
Earlier this week, Sunderland councillors rejected retrospective plans for a building on land at Hendon Street, within Hendon Industrial Estate.
Earlier this week, Sunderland councillors rejected retrospective plans for a building on land at Hendon Street, within Hendon Industrial Estate.

Earlier this week, Sunderland councillors rejected retrospective plans for a building on land at Hendon Street, within Hendon Industrial Estate.

According to planning documents, the site was formerly used as a salvage/scrap yard prior to a large metal clad building being erected towards the end of 2019.

A planning application was submitted to Sunderland City Council’s planning department the following year describing the property as ‘Wearside Autopark Preparation Centre.’

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Planners said the retrospective application was required as the building constituted a ‘major development’ due to the size of the new floor area that had been created.

While the development was in keeping with its industrial surroundings, planners said they had received no technical documents to support the application.

This included assessments around noise, land contamination and a design and access statement.

A transport statement was also requested providing details such as visitor and pedestrian access arrangements and hours of operation/ likely trip generation linked to the ‘car preparation centre.’

Planners said it was reasonable to conclude the development would involve repairs and the cleaning and preparation of vehicles for “sales and after sales care.”

But councillors were told that attempts to contact the applicant’s agent about the missing technical documents had been met with no response.

As a result, planning chiefs were unable to appraise the highway safety impacts of the development on the area and other issues such as flood risk and ground conditions, and recommended the plans for refusal.

The plans were subsequently turned down at Monday’s (March 29) meeting of the council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

Planners confirmed the development is now liable for enforcement action, with the nature and scope to be decided at a future date.

A report prepared for councillors adds: “Members should note that as the development subject to this application has already been undertaken, the refusal of planning permission means the development is liable to enforcement action from the council as local planning authority.

“The nature and scope of any action to be taken will be determined by the council’s planning compliance team following the issuing of a decision on the current planning application.”

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