Revised plans for a new Home Bargains shop on Wearside have been given the green light by city development chiefs.

Last year, Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee approved a planning application for a new retail development in the Grangetown area.

The £10 million scheme, first revealed by Fintry Estates and Hargreaves Land in 2022, included a new Home Bargains shop near Asda with around 2,804 sqm gross floor space.

Those behind the scheme said the discount shop would help regenerate a former industrial site which had been vacant for many years and blighted by fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

Plans for the development, which will be accessed from Leechmere Road, also included the demolition of a ‘reservoir structure’ which once served a nearby paper mill.

According to planning documents discussed by councillors last year, the proposals are expected to create around 60 full-time equivalent jobs and other “spin-off employment” for local businesses and construction firms.

Members of the city council’s Planning and Highways Committee gave the original plans the stamp of approval at a meeting on April 3, 2023, at City Hall.

In October the same year, however, amended plans were submitted requesting several changes to the Home Bargains development.

According to council documents, this included the “deletion” of an entrance tower projection from the building, a new window to the front of the building, changes to the building’s west elevation, re-positioning doors, squaring off an external display area and re-positioning sprinkler tanks and a pump house.

Plans also requested permission to alter the car park, including reducing parking numbers by 12 spaces and increasing the width of parking spaces.

After considering the amended planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it earlier this month (January, 2024).

Council planners, in a decision report, said the changes to the building would have “no unacceptable visual impacts”.

It was also noted that the reduction in car parking numbers, from 162 to 150, would still meet the council’s parking standards.

The council decision report adds: “It is considered that the proposed development, including the amendments, would cause no unacceptable impacts on the highway network in terms of its capacity and safety, or in relation to sustainable travel”.

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At a meeting last year, councillors heard the site was vacated in 2006 and had since become “overgrown” and subject to anti-social behaviour, with new regeneration plans aiming to bring the site “back into productive use”.

Developers, in a design and access statement, also confirmed a service yard had been positioned to the rear of the proposed Home Bargains shop, to help “minimise the impact” on neighbours.

For more information on the amended Home Bargains scheme, visit Sunderland City Council’s planning portal website and search reference: 23/02122/VAR Caption: Earlier CGI image proposed Home Bargains store