Plans approved for new Sunderland City Council eco-friendly vehicle depot with 1,113 solar panels

Plans for a new eco-friendly vehicle depot for Sunderland City Council have been hailed by leaders after being given the go-ahead.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:57 pm
The council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee unanimously approved proposals for the development of the Parsons Depot site in Washington.
The council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee unanimously approved proposals for the development of the Parsons Depot site in Washington.

The council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee unanimously approved proposals for the development of the Parsons Depot site in Washington.

The plans will see the building of a new vehicle depot to house Sunderland City Council’s commercial fleet, which will also provide maintenance, storage and office facilities.

The main building will also act as an electrical vehicle charging hub for the council’s fleet of vehicles, with the energy provided by 1,113 roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage units.

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Sunderland City Council leader Cllr Graeme Miller, who is also vice chair of the committee, praised the development at Tuesday’s meeting, when the proposals were passed, subject to various conditions.

The Washington South ward representative said: “The redevelopment and upgrading of the Parsons Depot in Washington is long overdue and is very welcome.”

He added the plans also support the area’s commitment to becoming more eco-friendly, and comes after this month Nissan announced they would be making a new electric model in Sunderland, with a battery plant to be built nearby.

Cllr Miller continued: “We’re adding more to it with electrical vehicle charging, solar panel energy inclusion, which keeps the council on track with its green credentials.

“What it’s trying to do with carbon reduction I think has to be warmly applauded.”

The development will occupy the whole of the 2.58 hectare site to provide a co-location of services such as fleet management, highways operations and place management.

Phase one of the plans will comprise of the construction of a new building and associated fleet parking.

This will be followed by phase two which will see the demolition of the remaining buildings on the site and construction of vehicle parking bays.

The site is to provide a total of 109 parking spaces, 89 for council staff and 20 in direct relation to the MOT facility.

Council planning officers had recommended the proposals, submitted by Esh Construction, for approval, stating they provide a “carbon neutral replacement for the former Parsons Depot”.

The planning permission comes after in 2019 Sunderland City Council’s cabinet backed plans to redevelop the Parsons Depot in Washington.

The £6.854million scheme included demolition works to make way for the new building alongside vehicle workshops and a salt barn.

An additional £3.004million was also earmarked for investing in ‘low carbon infrastructure’ at both Parsons Depot and Jack Crawford House, Hendon.

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