A MAJOR development which has the potential to create more than 1,300 jobs is in jeopardy after it was revealed a council will refuse planning permission for the site.
The Wear Point 55 development, based near the A19, could have been in use by the end of 2017, with the 22-hectare site having scope for more than one million sq ft of manufacturing space and almost 100,000sq ft of commercial space.
However, Sunderland City Council has recommended to refuse an application for the scheme over concerns that part of the site falls within the boundary of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, which itself is hoping to create more than 5,000 jobs.
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In a report for the council’s Development Control (Hetton, Houghton and Washington) Sub-Committee, councillors are recommended to refuse the “premature” and “inappropriate” plans.
The report also describes the plans as being “prejudicial” to highway safety, whilst concerns have also been raised relating to insufficient information about the “ecological implications” of the proposed development.
The Wear Point 55 development, near Nissan’s Sunderland base, was expected to see the build of two new factories, which will supply parts to the Japanese manufacturer.
It was also expected to create round 1,345 jobs, more than a third of which would be in Sunderland.
Peter Razaq, director of Town End Farm Partnership, said he was “extremely disappointed”.
“Over the last nine months Town End Farm and our consultancy team have worked tirelessly with Sunderland City Council, Highways England and other government agencies to deliver Wear Point 55.
“The Council’s proposed recommendation to refuse the application is a huge disappointment to us.
“Having undertaken very detailed highways and infrastructure surveys, we understood that the road network could support an increase in traffic.
“Now we have been informed that our S106 contribution would require a new revised road layout, reducing the available build space, making it unviable to deliver the proposed units as they would not no longer meet our or other Tier 1 suppliers’ requirements.
“We will consult with our legal team and hope to find a resolution in a way that we can move forward with the Wear Point 55 development.”
Sean Hedley, director of Hedley Services added: “Having worked with Sunderland City Council to promote and deliver this scheme, it is extremely disappointing that there is a recommendation for refusal on the grounds of prematurity.
“Wear Point 55 is a guaranteed delivery of jobs, investment and opportunity, with funding secured and occupiers ready for construction to start immediately.
“The Council’s preferred development route has no occupiers, will come at significant cost to the public purse and no guarantee that it will happened in good time.
“The recommendation will surely be scrutinised closely by members at next week’s planning committee and councillors attending the meeting are urged to approve this proposal to deliver much needed jobs and investment now.”
The committee will meet next Tuesday (April 25) to discuss the proposals.