Council development chiefs have given fresh plans for a bungalow development on vacant land in Roker the green light.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has approved a planning application for a site near the Harbour View pub in the St Peter’s ward.

The triangular piece of land sits to the rear of properties on Benedict Road and St Andrew’s Terrace and can be accessed from the rear lane of Bede Street.

Several bids for housing on the site have previously been refused by the city council, including an application for a detached bungalow with dormer windows which was rejected in April 2022.

Council planners said several matters made the bungalow plan “unacceptable”, including the “overshadowing of and a loss of outlook from the neighbouring properties” and the lack of an updated ecology report to assess the “full ecological impact”.

Fresh plans for the site, submitted to the city council in 2023, proposed a single-storey dwelling with an amended design.

This included a “single-storey residential dwellinghouse” complete with a “green flat roof” allowing vegetation to grow, new boundary treatments, car parking and access.

Submitted floor plans showed the bungalow offering two bedrooms, two bathroom/washroom facilities and a living, kitchen and dining area.

Plans also showed the entrance to the plot being taken from the rear lane of Bede Street, with the parking area including ‘permeable paving’.

A highway statement submitted to council officials said the rear lane was “very lightly trafficked by motor vehicles and by pedestrians” and that there was “no reason to believe” that extra traffic from the development would “affect the accident record on Back Bede Street or on other highways in the area”.

During a council consultation exercise on the plans, however, concerns were raised by neighbours with a total of five objections submitted.

Concerns included increased traffic and noise, access and parking issues and fears the property could be used as holiday accommodation.

One comment in support was also submitted describing the site as an “eyesore” and welcoming its redevelopment.

After considering the planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on April 16, 2024.

Council planning officers, in a decision report, said the plans represented a resubmission of two similar applications, both of which were refused and dismissed at appeal, with the latest proposing “pitched roof space”.

It was noted that the new amended plans, with a flat roof, were “acceptable from a highway safety point of view” and acceptable in relation to ecology, subject to a Section 106 agreement.

This would require the developer to provide a financial contribution towards work to reduce recreational impacts on nearby nature sites.

The council decision report adds: “The proposed development has been found to be acceptable in principle and, subject to suitable conditions and a legal agreement, capable of being acceptable in terms of ecology and land contamination issues.

“It should provide acceptable living conditions for future occupants, is of an acceptable scale and design, and is not considered to result in an overdevelopment of the site.

“The development is also unlikely to result in conditions that are prejudicial to pedestrian and highway safety.

“Compared to the previously refused scheme, the current scheme has successfully addressed the [planning] inspector’s previous concerns [at appeal] regarding the impact of development upon the living conditions of the neighbouring residents, particularly the occupants of Nos 15 and 17 Benedict Road with particular regard to outlook, daylight and sunlight.

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“The current proposal is unlikely to result in any significant detriment to the residential amenities of nearby properties that would merit a refusal in this case, and is therefore considered to be acceptable in this regard”.

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

For more information on the plans and council decision, visit Sunderland City Council’s planning portal website and search reference: 23/01421/FUL Caption:  Bungalow plan approved for the site at the rear lane of Bede Street, St Peter’s ward, Sunderland.