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Monday, April 22, 2024

‘Co-living’ accommodation scheme submitted to Sunderland city bosses

Plans submitted for 19-bedroom 'co-living' accommodation at Sunderland's North Bridge Street

Plans for a large “co-living” accommodation scheme on Wearside have been submitted to city development bosses.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has received an application for the Sunderland Deaf Centre building at 35-36 North Bridge Street.

Plans include a change of use from the building’s ‘social club’ status to residential accommodation in the form of a 19-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Proposed works at the building include a dormer window, new windows, solar panels, new stairs to the basement level and the removal of a ramp.

Plans have been submitted by applicant Vindamora Property Limited along with supporting documents.

A design and access statement notes the plan is linked to Heaney Homes, who are purchasing Sunderland Deaf Centre following current occupants selling up due to their “imminent relocation to more suitable premises”.

Those behind the HMO scheme said they had successfully converted another building on North Bridge Street and that the development at number 35-36 would “avoid the property becoming another empty property statistic”.

It was noted that the new plan, described as a “co-living development,” would contain “spacious en-suite bedrooms with generous communal areas” and “exceptional living conditions and amenities”.

Developers said they operate a variety of HMO developments across the region with the typical demographic being employed people between the age of 23-35.

The design and access statement adds: “They want to know most of their bills are included in a monthly rent and they like the idea of community living, as opposed to bedsits/studios they rent on their own that are unfurnished.

“This scheme will see all rooms that are substantially above the minimum amenity standards and very generous communal spaces to encourage co-living.

“With an edge on interior design and keeping people safe, this scheme like all the developers’ other schemes will be finished to a high standard and attract tenants that respect the building and use the local amenities adding additional economy to local businesses”.

Although no dedicated parking spaces are being proposed for the scheme, it was noted that the location offers “excellent access to public transport, services, and amenities within walking distance”.

A heritage statement submitted to council officials also noted that all en-suite rooms would have “small snack stations” and built-in wardrobes, as well as the building offering two large kitchens and a large communal room.

The heritage statement adds: “The demographic this co-living development is aiming to target, are working professionals aged 25-35 in the local area as this aligns with the Heaney Homes portfolio of high-quality luxury shared living spaces.

“Heaney Homes, the managing agent across the North of England for shared living include several clauses in their ASTs (assured shorthold tenancy) such as, that any persistent antisocial behaviour will result in termination of ASTs to ensure community cohesion.

“Cleaners visit the properties weekly/fortnightly to ensure high standards of the properties are maintained.

“Regular reactive and preventive maintenance is carried out by an in-house maintenance team”.

A decision on the plans will be made once a period of council consultation has concluded.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department lists a decision deadline of 1 May, 2024.

For more information on the planning application, visit the council’s planning portal website and search reference: 24/00391/FUL

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