News

New housing scheme to deliver £300k community boost

A Sunderland housing project is set to deliver thousands of pounds for community initiatives as part of a planning agreement between the city council and a private developer. 

A residential scheme being led by regeneration and housing specialist Vistry Partnerships North East, on the former grounds of Ayton School in Washington, will provide more than £300,000 towards educational, environmental and leisure initiatives.

Agreed as part of the deal to purchase the land from the council last year, the first £100,000 will go towards improvements to Ayton Park, a contribution to enhance children’s play facilities and environmental maintenance along the Bowes Railway.  The remainder will be targeted at schools’ support, to be announced as part of a wider private funding programme.

The initial payment is scheduled to be made early in 2021, when the first residents move onto the development – also called Ayton Park – and the final payment will be made when the last residents arrive – in 2022.

The scheme will see the creation of 56 two, three and four bedroomed homes of mixed tenure on the site.   Half will be for private sale, through Vistry’s Linden Homes brand and several have already been reserved ahead of the show home opening next January.  The other half will be for shared ownership sale, through Riverside Group. 

Ayton Park has been supported by Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator which works to increase the number and speed of new homes of all tenures across the country.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re determined to ensure that development projects that move forward in the city really deliver for communities and this is a fantastic example of the council driving community wealth and prosperity through our deals with private developers. 

“As well as delivering more high-quality housing for the city, this agreement with Vistry Partnerships is already bringing about a range of additional community benefits.  We will always ensure that, as a council, our endeavours deliver maximum value for the people we serve.

“We’re delivering a huge programme of regeneration across Sunderland and maximising the advantages to the area during development is vital if we’re to ensure this city realises its vast potential.”

Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry Partnerships North East, added:  “Through this partnership with Sunderland City Council we are confident that by regenerating and breathing new life into this former school site we can help deliver positive changes for local communities.  Our goal is not only to build high quality new properties, which improve the choice of homes across the region but to invest and enhance community facilities and access to educational support and training.”

Ayton Park is one of a number of new housing schemes moving ahead in Sunderland, which – between them – are expected to deliver more than 7,000 new properties over the coming 10 years. 

The city is growing its reputation as a place to live.  It has been named the ‘third richest city in the UK’ according to a report that looked at the assets the city has to offer versus the things that lead to a rich and fulfilled life.  Sunderland was also named as the best city to live for under 30s, in a report by OneFamily.