Sunderland City Council’s cabinet is set to agree the deal when it meets next week, paving the way for the creation of a new 275 home neighbourhood on its civic centre site, which it will vacate later this year.
Vistry submitted the council’s preferred bid to acquire the site, with a proposal that most closely matched the council’s vision and aspirations.
The scheme will include amenity space and enhanced pathways to the city centre. Of particular note is a proposal to recreate Saint George’s Square – bomb damaged during the Second World War and lost to redevelopment in the 1960s – with the Grade II listed Saint George’s House as the focal point. The architecture and streetscape will be sensitive to the nearby Ashbrooke Conservation Area.
Sean Egan, managing director of Vistry Partnerships North East, said: "We aim to create an attractive new residential quarter that sits comfortably within the surrounding architecture, with a focus on green space that encourages community use. It will be a fantastic new inclusive neighbourhood with its own distinctive character, providing a new housing offer on the edge of Ashbrooke and Mowbray Park whilst benefiting from the close proximity to the city centre.”
Subject to the land sale approval, a planning application is expected to be submitted in late autumn and that demolition of the old civic centre could begin in early 2022.
Vistry plans to include “a significant provision” of affordable housing. Those for private sale will be marketed by Vistry’s housing brand Linden Homes.
The civic centre redevelopment is part of a wider plan to build more than 7,000 new homes across Sunderland by 2030.