A controversial housing development along Sunderland seafront has been given the green light despite objections from local residents.
The development, which would see 64 houses built on a section of land along South Bents Avenue, was approved by Sunderland City Council’s planning and highways committee after hours of discussion. However, public opposition to these plans has been growing at a rapid rate, with approximately 500 local residents raising fears over the impact on things such as drainage, traffic, the loss of green space and the increase in air pollution.
As part of the approved development plans, a SANG (an area of sustainable alternative natural greenspace) will be introduced on council-owned land south of the development site.
After being agreed at a cabinet meeting earlier on in the month, the SANG will see the University of Sunderland provide the council with a one-off payment for the land.
However, after the decision to approve this build was met with cries of “shame” from the 30 members of public in attendance, any plans will now be presented to the Secretary of State who, in turn, will be given the final say over the development.
Dave Morris, chair of the NFPGS (National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces) remains concerned that the importance of green spaces to the local community are being forgotten in favour of endless development projects. He said:
“Green spaces are essential for all sections of our local communities. They need to be improved and protected, not neglected or threatened by development. We support communities who raise their voices about this.”
Echoing these concerns, James Doyle (deputy chairman of the Sunderland Conservatives) also raised his concerns about the impact such a development could have on the local area.
After echoing previous concerns over the potential loss of green space in the South Bents area, Mr Doyle also recognised that these plans show how the thoughts of the people have been pushed to one side.
“Not much consideration has been paid to the local residents and their concerns,” said Doyle. “It is something that we are trying to rally against.”
SR News contacted developer Miller Homes for comment on the development.