Proposals for new apartments in Sunderland city centre have been given the green light by council development chiefs.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has approved an application for 60 Fawcett Street.

This includes converting the floors above the former ‘Upmarket’ retail store to four apartments, as well as a roof dormer extension, bin store and associated external alterations.

The proposed accommodation would be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, along with alterations to the ground floor to provide access via a new staircase and door entrance.

Plans were submitted to the council back in 2022 and included the replacement of the building’s front windows with double-glazed units and repainting the facade.

To the rear of 60 Fawcett Street, the plans also included window replacements and a new roof over the second-floor extension.

In supporting statements, applicants said the design amendments would be “largely positive” with the rear changes being “significant improvements on the current design”.

A heritage statement added the works would have a positive impact on the Sunniside Conservation Area.

During a council consultation exercise on the plan, one public objection was received raising concerns about increased litter.

After considering the planning application from Anthony Swallwell and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on February 23, 2024.

This was subject to the developer providing funds towards “ecological mitigation and management measures in respect of impacts on European-protected coastal sites and species”.

The contribution of around £2,228.56 will be secured through a section 106 legal agreement between the developer and council.

Council planners noted the city centre development would be “appropriate for residential accommodation,” and was “within close proximity to sustainable modes of transport”.

Although the council’s conservation team “voiced their disappointment that the proposals do not include a new traditional shop front for the ground floor retail unit”, no formal objection was raised to the development.

It was noted that the plans would ultimately “safeguard the long-term occupancy of the building, ensuring its maintenance and preventing the deterioration of the property”.

The council decision report added: “The proposed development is considered acceptable in principle.

“The design is considered acceptable, and the development would not have a negative impact on the street scene or the Sunniside Conservation Area.

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“It would not have a detrimental impact on neighbouring amenity or highway and pedestrian safety and subject to securing a S106 Agreement in regard to ecological mitigation and management measures the proposal would not have a negative impact on the natural environment”.

Under planning conditions, the development must be brought forward within three years.

For more information on the planning application or council decision, visit Sunderland City Council’s planning portal website and search reference: 22/00575/FUL