(l-r) Allan Thompson (NE MD Story Homes), Cllr Graeme Miller and Pat O'Neil (Production Director Story Homes)

Work starts on £23 million city housing development

A 115-homes development in Sunderland South is taking shape, with the foundations being laid for a beautiful new scheme.

Story Homes is charging ahead with its new Potters Hill development, which forms part of the transformation of South Sunderland.  The scheme of 115 new homes, called The Birches, will include three, four and five-bedroom properties, and stands alongside 160 new homes which are being delivered by another developer. 

The Birches represents a £23 million investment from Story Homes in the city and is part of its wider £65 million programme of developments that will see the five-star housebuilder deliver 450 high-quality family homes over the coming years, creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

Included within The Birches scheme will be a series of four and five-bedroom properties from the housebuilder’s  Story Collection range; including the four bedroom ‘Sanderson’ and a three bedroom ‘Spencer’ show home which are expected to be open by Autumn 21.

The privately-owned business – which has been designing and building high quality homes across the North of England and Southern Scotland for over three decades – already has a number of live and completed sites across the wider North East region, and The Birches represents Story Homes’ first steps into Sunderland.

Allan Thompson, Managing Director for Story Homes in the North East, said: “We are delighted that work is underway at The Birches and are looking forward to seeing the first set of homes rise from the ground over the coming months.

“Story Homes has a reputation for being a housebuilder with community and sustainability at its heart and we will continue to build on these foundations as we expand our presence in Sunderland, by creating jobs for local people, helping preserve and enhance local greenspace and supporting local suppliers whenever possible.”

Situated just minutes from Doxford International Business Park and the A19 and A690, as well as a being a short drive from Herrington Country Park and Silksworth Ski Slope, Mr Thompson believes the site is perfectly located to attract new families from across the region into the city, as job-creating developments such as Riverside Sunderland and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) progress at pace.

He added: “The location of Potter’s Hill is absolutely fantastic.  It’s in an attractive and well-connected part of a city that is undergoing huge transformation at the moment and we’re really pleased to be establishing a presence here, and – with longer term ambitions to develop more homes in the city – we’re excited about the future for both Sunderland and Story Homes.”

The 112-acre Potters Hill scheme will deliver more than 700 new homes.  It is being delivered in phases, with individually designed developments being completed to create an attractive new residential community with a range of distinct property types.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Establishing Sunderland as desirable destination to live, work and play is central to our vision for the future of the city and the development of high-quality, family homes such as the residential schemes at Potter’s Hill are critical to bringing this vision to life.”

The Potters Hill scheme protects the woodland areas that surround the development and has been influenced by the existing landscape and natural features of the site.  Across the whole Potters Hill site, when it is fully developed, there will be 13.5 hectares of natural green space – the equivalent in area to over 18 full size football pitches. 

Potters Hill is one of a number of new housing schemes planned or underway in Sunderland, that will see more than 7,000 new properties being built over the coming 10 years. It is Sunderland City Council’s ambitious plans for the city – which will create exciting new places to live, work and play – that captured the attention of Story Homes, leading to the housebuilder’s decision to invest in the city.

The council is leading a city-wide housing strategy to ensure 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 is a new coastal community being created by Avant House and Miller Homes at Seaburn; 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, the existing Civic Centre site, and at Northern Spire Park alongside the stunning Northern Spire bridge as well as having started work on the first council houses built in Sunderland for almost 40 years earlier this year.