Created 17th May 2021

More than 7,000 homes are set to rise from the ground in Sunderland in the ten years to 2030. The vision – to build a range of attractive properties that will entice more families to this seaside hotspot – is part of a wider ambition to establish this dynamic young city as an exciting place to live, work and play.

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The man charged with delivering against the city’! ambitious housing plan is Executive Director of City Development at Sunderland City Council, Peter McIntyre, and, as Portfolio discovers, he is wasting no time turning the vision to a reality.

“Housing is fundamental to our vision for Sunderland,” says Peter.

We are developing fantastic infrastructure to attract more businesses to the city – from Riverside Sunderland, to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and Hillthorn Park, there will be thousands of new opportunities for people to work in Sunderland – and we want to capitalise on that, delivering sustainable communities where people want to make their home, and where our residents enjoy a happy, fulfilled life.


“We have some fantastic natural assets in Sunderland – from our open green spaces, to miles of beaches – and with a programme of regeneration underway, we’re adding to them with more and better leisure facilities that will make this a yet-more attractive place.

“Adding high-quality housing is the final piece in the jigsaw, so convincing private housebuilders to invest in Sunderland is being made more and more compelling, thanks to the rest of the work we’re doing to drive the transformation of Sunderland.”

And the progress is evident everywhere. South Sunderland Growth Area (SSGA) is one of the key focal points of residential development, boasting excellent connections and acres of land that is now being transformed to provide around 3,000 high quality new homes, surrounded by stunning green parkland that is being sustained to enhance biodiversity and provide community spaces for residents to enjoy.

Potters Hill, which is being delivered in phases, is one of the most exciting locations currently being transformed into a vibrant new community. Miller Homes was the first developer to move forward on site, and has been quickly followed by Story Homes, which has committed an overall £63m investment across the city that will see them build 450 houses at sites including Potters Hill, and Duchy Homes, which submitted a planning application earlier this year for a 179- home scheme.

Just a stone’s throw away, Burdon is transforming too, with proposals for more than 950 homes approved in March.

A consortium of developers comprising Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Story Homes submitted a planning application that will see 890 homes built on land North of Burdon Lane - 532 of which will have detailed consent and a further 358 which will have outline approval. A further 60 homes are set to be delivered by Persimmon, under its Charles Church brand, on adjacent land at Burdon Lane.

The new community - the largest new residential development to be approved since Washington New Town - forms the next phase of ambitious development in the South Sunderland Growth Area, and will deliver high quality and affordable homes that increase the housing choice available for growing families and younger people establishing themselves on the property ladder.

The scheme will include a mix of house types, from two to five bed properties, and 10 per cent of those built will be ‘affordable’ homes. The development will preserve and enhance swathes of green space totalling more than 21 hectares – supporting healthy and active lifestyles and maximising biodiversity.

“The trick with housing is to ensure it is complimentary to the surroundings, and that it responds to the natural environment sensitively. The assets of Sunderland are its stunning open spaces, and that’s something we’re determined to preserve.

“We recognise the need to create sustainable new communities in the city, but we do not want them to strip away the things that make Sunderland a special place. That’s important,” says Peter.

And that same approach has been fundamental in Seaburn, where two new communities are progressing at pace. Miller Homes and Avant Homes are both on site, simultaneously developing attractive family homes that stand on the city’s beautiful coastline, which itself has enjoyed a resurgence with a new inn with rooms and the STACK leisure and entertainment venue now creating a point of arrival that adds real vibrancy to the seaside.

“Seaburn is naturally spectacular. Houses in the area command a premium, because they offer a way of life that is really special. A beach for a garden, if you like. We’re looking forward to achieving something very different, but just as desirable in the city centre, at Riverside Sunderland.”

Plans for the first of 1,000 ultrasustainable smart homes to be built at Riverside Sunderland are already advancing. An application for the first 132 properties - a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom new homes - on land that enjoys panoramic views over the city riverside, was approved by Sunderland City Council in March, paving the way for the first tranche of housing to be completed by 2023, in time for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a public event that will showcase a new way of city living and the transformation of Riverside Sunderland into a vibrant place to live.

91 houses and 41 apartments have been designed by architects Proctor & Matthews and MawsonKerr and will provide spacious eco-friendly smart homes, built using modern methods of construction, that will include a variety of amenity spaces, including terraces, courtyards and communal gardens.

The scheme represents the start of one of the four attractive new communities that will rise from the ground over the next decade.

The ambition is to create a world-class new place to live in the heart of the city, with Riverside Sunderland eventually becoming home to 2,500 new residents and 10,000 workers, who will bring with them spending power that will boost the economic fortunes of the city centre.

“Riverside is the pinnacle – when our vision for a dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland all converge. The vision is hugely ambitious, because this city is special and it deserves homes that are too.”

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