Keel Square, Sunderland

Sunderland residents given opportunity to shape city’s future

Members of the public are to have their say on plans aimed at ensuring a prosperous long-term future for Sunderland.

The Draft Core Strategy and Development Plan is a framework to deliver the jobs, business growth, transport links and housing Sunderland needs to thrive by 2033.

It also targets challenges such as deprivation and rising obesity within the city, as well as factoring in leisure and retail requirements and environmental concerns.

The ‘plan’, a requirement for all local authorities, is based on in-depth research by Sunderland City Council into every aspect of the city’s future needs.

Sunderland’s population is expected to continue to increase. By more people living and working in Sunderland we are creating a need for more homes, more jobs, more services and more transport facilities. The plan identifies the best locations for development, and future infrastructure requirements have also been analysed.

Once a final version is approved, the plan will play a pivotal role in shaping Sunderland’s future. Before then, however, the city’s residents and businesses have the chance to give their views on the proposals set out in the draft Plan.

Public consultation will start on 7th August and run until 2nd October; a fortnight longer than the standard six weeks, to allow for the summer holidays. 

During that time, every Sunderland household will receive a leaflet with details about the plan, while various events for businesses and residents will be held across the city. 

Sunderland City Council Leader Paul Watson said: “The Core Strategy and Development Plan will guide and shape the development of our city for the next 18 years. It will have a positive impact on the lives of residents across Sunderland, and our wider reputation as a great place to visit and do business with.

“The input of local people will be instrumental in ensuring the plan delivers everything needed for Sunderland to reach its potential as a thriving, sustainable city. While the local plan is based on robust evidence and extensive research, it is by no means set in stone. We now need the people of Sunderland to get involved and have their say on our proposals.”

The local plan aims to: 

  • Deliver the estimated 13,800 new homes needed in Sunderland by 2033, while minimising the impact on green belt land. The plan proposes development on only three per cent of Sunderland’s 3,500 hectares of green belt land. Meet our travelling community’s needs and identify three potential gypsy and traveller sites and two sites for travelling showpeople.
  • Provide at least 95 hectares of land on which jobs are created and supported. This is in addition to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) being developed between Sunderland and South Tyneside, which will bring 5,200 new jobs and £300m of investment. The plan also directs retail and office developments to the city centre, while ensuring smaller centres remain healthy and sustainable.
  • Protect the environment and address the impact of climate change. It focuses on developing Sunderland as an attractive and sustainable place to live, with an emphasis on quality of life, community wellbeing and local character. It supports the development of renewable and low carbon energy and flood reduction measures.
  • Improve transport links and make them more sustainable. The plan seeks to ensure centres, workplaces and key facilities like schools and hospitals are easily accessible via sustainable modes of transport. It also backs the expansion of the Metro on Wearside and new strategic road infrastructure.
  • Tackle the city’s health challenges. Restrictions on the location and number of hot food takeaways within centres are among several proposals targeting unhealthy eating and obesity.
  • Deliver the infrastructure needed to support growth. The plan outlines a range of physical and service infrastructural requirements for the coming years. Mobility, connectivity, health, wellbeing, skills and education are all covered in the draft plan.

The Draft Core Strategy and Development Plan is available to download via the council’s website,