Echo readers are split on a decision by councillors not to approve an £18million arena and retail plan which it was claimed could have brought 375 jobs to Wearside.
Roseberry Leisure hoped to redevelop Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton and create a retail park with shops including an Aldi, Costa Coffee and Pets at Home.
Director of the company Mike Roseberry had said a newer venue could accommodate more than 2,000 people for events and help to bring 250,000 visitors to the area each year, with potential for an additional 25,000 hotel room nights.
But this week a meeting of the Hetton, Houghton and Washington Development Control Sub-Committee agreed with officers that the development would do more harm than good for the area and promptly rejected the application.
Readers writing on the Echo’s Facebook page offered their opinions on the decision.
Llayney Marie Straughan wrote: “I think they have a valid point. Newbottle Street is a ghost town. If you’re not in the market for a second hand shop, a take away, or putting a bet on at the bookies, you’re knackered.”
Tom Booth wrote: “One thing to have an arena it’s another to fill it, struggled to pay its way for years.
“Not familiar with local issues but I’d put houses and protecting existing business above another park with the usual suspects on.”
Leigh Green wrote: “How many of these out of town units do we need? Good idea to knock this back.
“It’s these type of builds that have destroyed local shopping streets and town centres.”
Some called the decision wrong however.
Cameron Brown said: “Absolutely outrageous! What is Newbottle street currently offering? The only useful place down there is the bank!”
And Alison Leonard wrote: “The arena is already a lucrative business and a redevelopment would be great the kids use it for football presentations, boxing, functions, could even have a great wedding venue something really lacking in the Sunderland area.”