Plans approved to turn 'horrible ugly looking building' in Hendon into apartments
A former social club on Wearside is set for a new lease of life as apartments following a decision by councillors.
This week, Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee approved plans for the Ivy Leaf Club off Suffolk Street in Hendon.
The plans have seen several changes since being submitted last year including a reduction in the number of apartments to 13 and amendments to windows.
Despite concerns from police about the future management of the apartments and existing anti-social behaviour in the area, planning officers recommended the scheme for approval.
For many councillors, the proposals to revamp the vacant building were welcome after years of trouble at the site, from deliberate fire-setting to fly-tipping.
Hendon ward councillor, Lynda Scanlan, said many consultations had taken place with residents about the future of the building before it was sold – including creating a play park on the site.
She added that new owners had already started work to secure the building, make it safe and clean it out and that apartments were the best option going forward.
“This is not a house in multiple occupation, this is 13 individual apartments,” Cllr Scanlan told the planning meeting on Monday (July 5).
“I think that it is the best possible use that we could have of that horrible ugly looking building that has caused nothing but problems for years in that part of Hendon.
“It’s just dreadful and anything that improves that is great for the residents.”
In response to questions from councillors, a representative for the applicant said the building would most likely be made available for ‘mainstream tenants.’
Although no management office is planned for the site, councillors were told there would be regular checks of communal areas, CCTV and secure bin storage.
Councillors also heard that there was no demand from the voluntary and community sector to use the social club following marketing exercises.
And the steel-framed structure and the inability to remove certain walls also placed constraints on subdividing the building into living space.
Council planners confirmed that a planning condition would prevent occupation of the apartments until a management plan was submitted and approved by the local planning authority.
Councillor Karen Noble said she was reassured about security and management at the site and that the development would “potentially get rid of an eyesore” while “bringing better quality housing to Hendon.”
However, councillor Niall Hodson said he was “wary” about elements of the development including the number of apartments, the lack of parking and the potential impact on the amenity of nearby residents.
He added that a “strongly-worded” management agreement should be able to tackle most potential problems at the site in future.
Following debate, the planning application won unanimous support from the planning committee.
The decision is subject to a section 106 agreement between the council and the applicant to help reduce the impact of the new housing.
The legal agreements are a normal part of the planning process and in the case of the Ivy Leaf Club, planners aim to secure a financial contribution towards ecology.
This includes “mitigation of impact upon the protected coastline at a rate of £271 per apartment.”