Plans to demolish more buildings at a Sunderland industrial estate have been submitted to city development chiefs.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has received an application to bulldoze a row of units in the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate area.

In recent months, the city council has approved a number of applications to remove buildings at the riverside site.

This includes factory units and a former fish and chip shop, and buildings once linked to printing giant Edward Thompson, with the most recent factory unit demolition being approved in February, 2024.

Although the council has cited ‘economy and health and safety’ as the reasons for demolition in many cases, previous council planning documents reference wider regeneration plans for the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate.

This includes proposals to “demolish and then redevelop the wider site at Sheepfolds, in accordance with the aspirations set out within the [council’s] Riverside Sunderland supplementary planning document”.

A recent planning application from Sunderland City Council also applied for a change of use from industrial land to ‘public realm’ in the Sheepfolds area.

Supporting documents note the council, subject to planning approval, intends to “progress with design proposals and a planning application for public realm proposals between the Stadium of Light to the north and the bridge being constructed to the south” to “improve connectivity”.

A planning statement from the council notes Sheepfolds Industrial Estate is identified, in the Riverside Sunderland supplementary planning document, as “a site envisaged to deliver approximately 450 new homes”.

New demolition plans at Sheepfolds Industrial Estate aim to bulldoze a row of five units to the north of Brooke Street.

This includes unit 10, a single-storey former garage/vehicle repair building linked to City Motors Ltd.

A second workshop building (unit 11) linked to PST Construction is also proposed for demolition, as well as the former Edward Thompson Building (block two) at unit 12.

Another building proposed for demolition includes a single-storey factory unit/warehouse partly linked to business Europcar, which was granted permission to move to a new base in Pallion back in 2023.

The building, which is made up of units 13 and 14, is also used by Sunderland City Council to house its grass-cutting machines and to store materials.

A planning application from the city council states the five units are being demolished on the grounds of “economy and health and safety”.

The planning application adds: “The buildings have exceeded their useful economic lifespan and are now redundant, they are in a poor state of repair and are structurally deteriorating, posing a danger to the public”.

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The planning application adds: “The area has been designated as redevelopment area by Sunderland City Council and major redevelopment works are to be carried out in the near future”.

Demolition works are proposed to start at the end of April, 2024, and have an estimated completion date of July 12, 2024.

Sunderland City Council’s planning portal website lists a decision deadline of April 21, 2024, for the demolition application.