Plans for an apartment scheme for vulnerable people in Sunderland gets go-ahead

An apartment scheme for vulnerable people has been given the stamp of approval by city councillors.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 4:55 pm
The parcel of land off James William Street has seen several previous planning approvals which have failed to materialise, including a three-storey care home.

Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee approved a planning application this week for a site in the city’s Hendon ward.

The parcel of land off James William Street has seen several previous planning approvals which have failed to materialise, including a three-storey care home.

New plans from Fit-Out Yorkshire aimed to create a residential block providing 13 self-contained one-bedroom apartments.

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The development will have the appearance of three separate residential properties.

And according to planning documents, apartments will be operated by a charitable housing association providing “accommodation for vulnerable members of society.”

During council consultation, two neighbour objections were received raising concerns about parking, loss of trees and loss of outlook and light.

However, no objections were raised by the council’s highways department around safety issues or parking.

Officers noted that the site was in a sustainable location in terms of public transport and that five parking spaces were “appropriate” for the proposed accommodation.

The application was approved at a virtual planning hearing on Monday (March 29), which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

As part of the planning permission, the applicant will enter into a section 106 agreement with the council, allowing planners to secure financial contributions to reduce the impact of the development.

This includes funds for off-site green space improvements, two affordable dwellings and ‘strategic access and monitoring measures’ around potential impacts on nearby coastal nature sites.

A planning report prepared for councillors added the development had gone through several design changes to help minimise its impact on the character and appearance of the local conservation area.

The committee report reads: “It is considered that the proposed development gives rise to some modest benefits in terms of housing delivery and its use of a site which is within an established built-up area which is well-connected to public transport, shops, services and other facilities.

“Additionally, the council’s built heritage officer is of the view that the development will actually serve to enhance the character, appearance and significance of the Old Sunderland Riverside Conservation Area, on the basis that the proposals represent a good-quality development of what is considered to be an unsightly area of open space.”

The report goes on to say: “Ultimately, it is considered that the loss ofthe greenspace is being adequately compensated for through the financial contribution and that its loss is outweighed by the benefits the scheme will bring in terms of housing delivery and the enhancement of the conservation area.”

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