Residents’ anger over 200 new homes plan

Concerned residents David Wilson, with Sarah Brown, Melanie Brydon and Val Hall.
Concerned residents David Wilson, with Sarah Brown, Melanie Brydon and Val Hall.

Residents have spoken of their anger at plans to build more than 200 new homes on their doorstep.

Proposals have been submitted by R&K Wood Planning LLP to build 214 houses as part of a hybrid planning application at Willow Carr, on 7.5 hectares of land south west of the A182 behind Fairburn Avenue in Houghton.

Concerned residents David Wilson, with Sarah Brown, Melanie Brydon and Val Hall.

Concerned residents David Wilson, with Sarah Brown, Melanie Brydon and Val Hall.

People living nearby say they are concerned about the possible creation of a new entrance being built on the A182 near the Burn Hotel pub, while there are also worries over how close the development is to the Hetton Bogs nature reserve and the effect it could have on wildlife.

An action group has been formed to oppose the plans, lead by Fairburn Avenue resident David Wilson, and his wife, Jane, who have lived in the street for more than 40 years.

Meetings have since been held with objections raised.

David, 76, said: “We are totally against these plans and I think it will have a massive, negative impact if it goes ahead.

Land off the A182 at Houghton on which planners hope to get permission to buld 214 new homes.

Land off the A182 at Houghton on which planners hope to get permission to buld 214 new homes.

“We are very concerned about how the settlement break between Houghton and Hetton will be affected by this.”

Jane, 71, said: “I am even more concerned about the Hetton Bogs site of special scientific interest (SSSI), having read the council planning department’s report which has given outline planning permission for 300 houses on Hazard Lane and the Willow Carr Development which is a hybrid one seeking to establish a buffer zone and the 214 houses.

“Therefore, the wildlife corridor has already been constricted and would be compressed further.”

Labour councillor Kevin Johnston, who represents Copt Hill Ward, has also spoken out against the plans.

He said: “With this particular site there would also be a devastating impact on the local wildlife due to the proximity to Hetton Nature Reserve, which is an SSSI site.

“This is why we will be working with residents to object and will be requesting the planning officers reject this application.”

A Sunderland City Council spokesman said: “An outline planning application (all matters reserved) has been submitted by R & K Wood Planning LLP for a residential development of up to 214 dwellings at Willow Carr in Houghton.

“Detailed consent is also being sought for the hydrology management and sustainable drainage on the site.

“As with all applications, this development proposal will be considered on its merits having regard to national and local planning policies.

“Public consultation is currently being carried out and any comments received will be taken into account as part of the decision making process.

“The application will be considered by a Planning Committee in due course.”

The plans are expected to be decided on in June.