Council urged to prioritise new housing on derelict and abandoned sites near Sunderland City Centre.
Sunderland Council is being urged to prioritise new housing developments on run-down sites close to the city centre.
Wearside Liberal Democrats have made the calls, saying that existing brownfield sites in the city would be more suitable than the planned housing developments on green fields in Burdon Lane between Tunstall and Doxford Park.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett visited Sunderland last week to hear local residents’ objections to the housing plans in Burdon. Local Lib Dems say that residents are right to raise concerns about the Burdon Lane plans, especially as the situation in some run-down parts of the city centre – and surrounding areas like Hendon and Millfield – needs urgent attention.
It comes after former Sunderland South MP Chris Mullin spoke out last week, saying that more development was needed in Sunderland city centre to stop people moving out of the city.
Millfield campaigner Niall Hodson said:
“Labour councillors in charge of Sunderland Council won’t listen to us or their residents – who have been campaigning about housing, waste, and the city centre for years – and they aren’t even acknowledging the Greens. So perhaps they should listen to their own: former local MP Chris Mullin said last week that development is needed in the city centre if we are to stop people moving away from Sunderland.
“Wearside Lib Dems think there is a need for better regeneration schemes with quality, affordable housing - both to rent and to buy - including new council houses. This would reinvigorate our city centre: attracting residents and shoppers will bring it to life again."
Lib Dem campaigner for Hendon Callum Littlemore commented:
“It is shocking that Sunderland Council are looking at approving house building on green fields in Burdon, which lacks the infrastructure to support them, whilst Hendon and the city centre are full of brownfield sites crying out for redevelopment. What’s more, the infrastructure exists - and is currently being improved with the new Wear bridge and strategic transport corridor to the Port - to support new houses in Hendon and the East End.”
Notes to editors:
A photo is attached: Lib Dem campaigners Callum Littlemore and Niall Hodson on Salem Street, Hendon.
Chris Mullin presented a segment on Sunderland’s falling population on Inside Out North East and Cumbria on 25th January. Available online: http://bbc.in/204fBzZ