Sunderland Green Party concerned over plans for new housing development

Photo: Blakeney Woods/Sunderland Green Party.
Photo: Blakeney Woods/Sunderland Green Party.

The Sunderland Green Party have raised concerns over plans for a new housing development in the south of the city.

The Burdon Lane development will consist of 1,000 executive homes.

The land the homes will be built on is currently set aside to ensure that Doxford Park, Ryhope and Tunstall do not merge.

Sunderland City Council claim that the housing, along with a further 2,000 executive homes to be built on the Cherry Knowle site and in South Ryhope, will be needed to satisfy 20% of the city’s future housing needs.

Sunderland Green Party have pointed out that the city’s population is the third fastest falling in the country and that there is very little demand for executive housing.

They have also raised concerns about the suitability of the site. In recent weeks, parts of the proposed site have been flooded.

Rachel Featherstone, Green Party candidate for the Doxford ward, said: “This is not the kind of housing we need and this is not where it should be located.

“There are brown field sites available as well as empty land where estates have been demolished. They should be the priority for development and we should be building good quality, affordable homes for ordinary people and families.”

Ms Featherstone added: “The city council have got this the wrong way round – they’re building houses for people they have yet to attract.

“We need to develop our city centre, build employment opportunities and focus on making this a better place to live for existing residents. Only then can we attract new residents.

“These green spaces are an asset to the city and really valued by local residents.

“The Burdon Lane development will benefit no one but the developers.”

The South Sunderland Growth Area was discussed and agreed by the City Council’s Cabinet at its last meeting on Wednesday January 13.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, said: “We all want to see our city grow and prosper, and the council will be consulting on the South Sunderland Growth Area later this year.

“This area is not classed as greenbelt and the council is always open to developers who wish to develop brownfield sites.

“In recent years, 95 per cent of all the Sunderland’s housing completions have been on such brownfield sites and the council continues to be in development discussions with the landowners at Groves, Philadelphia, Pennywell, Ford and Doxford about their plans.

“One of the key points about the growth area is to provide a wider-range of larger family and executive-style homes. These are the kind of properties where there is not always sufficient space or indeed developer interest in and around the city centre.”

The Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, visited the Burdon Lane development site to talk to residents about their concerns.

SR News’ Sophie Dishman spoke to Ms Bennett about the development and the meaning of executive housing.

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