CAR PARK: Sunderland City Council promise to ‘revisit’ plans
City leaders have promised to ‘revisit’ proposals for a major new car park once the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is underway.
Plans for a 520-space car park serving Doxford International Business Park were lodged last year (2020), partly in response to concerns over workers based at the site leaving their cars in nearby neighbourhoods.
But following a drop in demand for spaces over the last 12 months and amid plans for wider infrastructure improvements in the area, Sunderland City Council confirmed this week it had shelved the application for now.
“The car park isn’t right because of the plans we’re putting in place [between] Durham Road roundabout all the way to the roundabout which hooks into Doxford,” said Graeme Miller, the leader of the council.
“It was easier to withdraw it and focus on what’s necessary and consult with residents so they are aware what’s happening and where it will be happening.
“We will revisit it down the line and I have no intention of seeing anything go backwards there, it was just easier to focus on the transport links.”
Work to dual the B1268 City Way between Monarch Way and Doxford Park Way is due to start on Monday, April 19, from 8am.
The project is part of a wider construction programme of improvements at the A690 Durham Road and nearby A19 junction.
It is hoped this will support access to and from the South Sunderland Growth Area (SSGA), which is expected to include up to 1,000 new homes on land at Burdon Lane, as well as at Chapelgarth, Cherry Knowle, and South Ryhope.
Cllr Miller added he expected parking connected to Doxford Park to ‘rise again’ in the future, which would see plans for a car park on land between Silksworth Road and the B1286 City Way reconsidered.
According to local authority spending plans, £2.2 million had previously been allocated for the car park project.
Of this, £125,000 was earmarked to be spent last year (2020/21) and a further £200,000 this financial year (2021/22).
Words: James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporter
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