Thousands of Sunderland residents have had their say on the draft plans for future development in the city.
More than 6,000 responses have been received to Sunderland’s draft Core Strategy and Development Plan, which looks at jobs, business growth, transport links and housing needs in the city from now until 2033.
The plan has attracted controversy for the inclusion of potential housing sites including West Park in Herrington.
Sunderland City Council invited people who live and work in the city to consultation events over the summer.
The consultation closed in October, and planners are now reviewing all responses to identify any changes to be made, and include new ideas prompted by feedback.
City council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “I’m delighted the consultation that will help to shape the city’s future encouraged thousands of local people to have their say.
This is a hugely important document which will lie behind major changes to our city for the next 18 years. We were very keen that people of all ages who care about the growth and success of our city took part in the process.Coun Paul Watson
“This is a hugely important document which will lie behind major changes to our city for the next 18 years. We were very keen that people of all ages who care about the growth and success of our city took part in the process.”
A detailed feedback report will be published, which will be online at the City Council website and in printed form early next year.
It will set out the range of views received during the consultation and summarise how these have been taken into account in the next version of the draft Plan. The City Council puts a high priority on achieving an adopted Local Plan to set out clearly the city’s ambitions.
There will be a six-week consultation period early next year for people to respond to this updated version of the Plan. The City Council will publicise dates of the consultation in early 2018.
The Local Plan aims to deliver 13,800 new homes needed in Sunderland by 2033, while minimising the negative impact on the environment and local amenity. It will also seek to provide at least 95 hectares of land to help create and support jobs.
Transport links will be improved with new strategic road infrastructure and it backs the Metro expansion in Sunderland.
The roadshow consultations attracted the attention of thousands of people, including Sunderland’s Youth Parliament.
Sunderland Youth Parliament member Rachel Krajovska said: “It was great for the Youth Parliament to be involved in this sort of consultation. It’s exactly why we exist – to be part of the city’s activities and plans for the future.
“There’s a lot to do in the Plan and I hope the big ideas turn into action. I’m sure we’ll be nicely surprised with the developments as they come along – we’ll have to wait and see.”