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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Plans lodged for new flats above former city centre bank in Sunderland

Plans for new flats above a former city centre bank have been submitted to council development chiefs.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department, this week, validated an application for a unit at 31-32 Blandford Street.

The space was previously occupied by Yorkshire Bank but has been vacant for some time, with the original signage removed.

New proposals aim to transform the site’s upper floors into residential flats, with natural lighting provided to each room.

Existing floor plans show the upper floors separated into a mix of toilet facilities, kitchen space, staff, storage and admin areas, interview rooms and a conference room.

New floor plans submitted with the application show how the building’s upper floors would be subdivided if the new residential use was approved.

This includes the space being separated into five one-bedroom flats, each with a bathroom, living room and kitchen.

During consultation on the plans so far, one public comment has been submitted to the council raising concerns about the lack of bin storage facilities in the planning application.

The comment welcomed the “development of living accommodation above ground level as the more people who live in the city centre use a city centre.”

However the member of the public said the lack of bin storage could worsen existing issues around waste management in the area, as well as restricting access for commercial deliveries and increasing litter.

The consultation statement adds: “We would welcome the developer to re-submit plans which include a secure bin storage which is only accessible by tenants which can then be managed and maintained by the landlord.”

A decision on the planning application will be made by Sunderland City Council once a period of council consultation has concluded.

The council’s website states a decision is expected to be made by January 5, 2023.

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