Sale agreed for Civic Centre site
October 22, 2021
Contracts have exchanged on the sale of the Sunderland Civic Centre today, paving the way for a stunning new residential community to take shape.
Vistry Partnerships North East is set to take charge of the site on Burdon Road, with plans to develop an exciting new neighbourhood of city centre homes, interwoven with open public spaces and pedestrian links to the rest of the city.
The North East house builder and regeneration specialist, which is already delivering a housing scheme in Ayton, Washington, was named preferred developer earlier this year and has been working with the community to shape plans for the area.
Vistry's proposal, which includes the construction of around 280 homes, was deemed to provide the best response to the council's development vision.
It will create a mixed tenure community of open market and affordable homes, with modern and spacious properties ranging from one to four bedrooms. The scheme will include attractive areas of formal and informal amenity space and enhanced pedestrian and multi-user links to the city centre, Ashbrooke and Mowbray Park. The proposed architecture and streetscape will be sensitive to the parkside location and the Ashbrooke Conservation Area.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We're delighted that the sale of the former Civic Centre site is moving forward, with plans for its development advancing at pace.
"The transformation of our city is gathering momentum, and as we prepare to move into City Hall, we're pleased to have rapidly secured a new use for our old estate in tandem, allowing development to quickly get underway and support the businesses at the southern end of the city centre, at the same time as we deliver positive change to the north of the city centre through our Riverside Sunderland regeneration programme."
"This site is well-positioned to add to the city's residential offer, based on the edge of a prestigious residential community that will ensure it delivers a stunning new place to live that increases the city centre population and footfall, supporting the daytime and evening economy."
Having exchanged contracts, it is expected that - subject to planning - the demolition of the old civic centre could get underway in early 2022.
Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry Partnerships North East said: "This is very exciting project of which to be part. We are confident this development will be instrumental in improving housing choice, employment opportunities and will regenerate a key, high profile site in Sunderland."
"We will create an attractive new residential quarter, with contemporary homes of the highest quality that will sit comfortably within the surrounding architecture and a focus on green space, that promotes community use."
The new homes are part of a wider plan to build more than 7,000 new homes across the city by 2030. The plan will ensure that Sunderland has the volume and variety of homes it needs to attract and retain a diverse range of residents.
Among other housing developments moving forward across the city are new coastal communities being created by Avant Homes and Miller Homes at Seaburn; attractive family homes being delivered by Miller Homes, Story Homes, Duchy Homes, and Bellway at Potters Hill / Burdon Rise, a £40m scheme delivered by Karbon Homes in North Hylton and a £400m+ plan by Gentoo to invest in its existing stock, as well as significant new affordable homes programme. Sunderland City Council is also delivering on ambitions to develop contemporary new city centre homes on the Riverside Sunderland site, and at Northern Spire Park alongside the stunning Northern Spire bridge.
The council announced plans to relocate from its civic centre base to Riverside Sunderland in 2019, and work commenced on a new city hall later that year. Bringing together a range of public sector partners, that will work from the 190,000sq ft office space, Sunderland City Hall is being funded by institutional investor Legal & General, which is also working with developer Landid to build two, adjacent, speculative offices. Legal & General credited the council's vision for Riverside Sunderland as being the driving force behind the investment, and has since committed a further £60m to Hillthorn Park in Washington, which will soon be home to a number of high quality industrial units.
The move to city hall later this year will enable the council to deliver services from a modern environment, where residents can access a range of services under one roof.
To stay up to date with developments across the city, visit www.mysunderland.co.uk or follow @InvestSund on social media.