Sunderland councillor’s concern over new estate sharing same name with another street

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Council bosses have written to emergency services to highlight a city street and new estate in Sunderland are currently sharing the same name.

Earlier this year, work started on the new Barnes View housing development, in Nookside, which aims to provide two-bedroom apartments for over 55s.

Although the estate’s address is officially registered as Birchberry Close, it shares the Barnes View name with another street near Barnes Park, a short distance away.

Coun Antony Mullen, who represents Barnes ward for the Conservatives, has previously called on the developer, Engie, to remove the name Barnes View from their marketing website.

In recent weeks, Sunderland City Council has written to emergency services to stress the difference between the street and development.

Emergency services have stressed that processes are already in place to make sure staff get to the right place, at the right time.

“The emergency services, taxi drivers and delivery men should be aware that there is only one Barnes View in Sunderland,” Coun Mullen said.

“The Barnes View at Nookside is the name of a development, not a street name.”

“An ambulance going to the wrong address in an emergency situation could easily lead to an otherwise avoidable death.”

Developers Engie have confirmed that Barnes View marketing boards and all related material – including the website – will be taken down at the end of December, when the estate is complete.

A North East Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Both our NHS111 and 999 systems have the latest address data from Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA), which is updated regularly to reflect new housing estates.

“We also have a process in place to enable our call handlers to find the caller quickly if they call us before their address is in the system.”

Station manager at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Andrew Lineham, added: “When a person dials 999 in an emergency it very much speeds up the process if the caller is able to give our control staff an accurate indication of where the incident is.

 “We have a system that gives us a rough estimate of where the callers are calling from if they ring using a mobile phone and if they are calling from a landline we get subscriber details but it helps our control staff if a caller can provide as much information as possible so we are able to get the right crews to the right place as quickly as possible.”

Legal requirements for a registering a new street address include a house number, street name and Sunderland postcode.

A Sunderland City Council spokesman said it has “no statutory powers over the marketing name of a development.”

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service