Sunderland councillor expresses green space fears as Gentoo affordable homes development approved
and live on Freeview channel 276
At a meeting of the new city-wide Planning and Highways Committee on Monday, June 13, council officers recommended the plans for approval for Gentoo to build up to 110 houses on land north of Emsworth Road in the Carley Hill area.
According to planning documents, the parcel of open space proposed for development forms a “green wedge” between existing residential sites, with Fulwell Quarry Local Nature Reserve adjoining the northern boundary.
A committee report prepared for decision-makers said the housing scheme would have adverse impacts arising from the loss of trees and a “loss of biodiversity across the site” but stressed this could be offset to an “acceptable level”.
Gentoo has stressed that existing green space will be kept, with a large area of landscaping and open space while a new footpath will also be created, connected to existing routes, allowing residents to continue walking in the area. It also says bat and bird boxes and flowering plants will also be introduced to support local wildlife.
Cllr Butler said: “That area is perfect for people who don’t have their own gardens or green space, it is ideal for them to be able to go for a walk and so many people, including myself, used it for that purpose during the Covid lockdowns.
"I’m really gutted that people want to build on it, I know we need social housing, but they have already built on many different sites around Southwick.
"We have an abundance of brown field sites in the area so there is an awful lot of space to work with anyway, plus this land is not in the Core Strategy Plan.
"As well as the loss of green space, the plans have the potential to make the already really busy junction of Thompson Road/Carley Hill Road even worse than it is now.”
Joanne Gordon, development director at Gentoo Group, said the housing group is committed to building affordable homes across Wearside.
She said: “We are pleased our application has been approved.
“We are very proud of our new house type range and look forward to creating 110 opportunities for tenants to move into their dream new home.”