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SEAFRONT: Guest house to home conversion approved

SEAFRONT: Guest house to home conversion approved

April Guesthouse, Sunderland

Proposals to change a seafront guesthouse back to a residential property have been given the green light by city planners.

Back in September 2021, a planning application was lodged with Sunderland City Council for the April Guesthouse in the St Peter’s ward.

This included changing the use of the property from a guesthouse to a dwelling.

As the property is based in the Roker Park Conservation Area, a heritage statement was also submitted with the application.

According to the document, the plans were submitted as the April Guesthouse is “no longer viable as a guesthouse.”

Applicants have clarified that the guesthouse will remain in business until the property is sold – and that they have three years to do so.

Bookings will continue to be taken and existing bookings honoured while the guesthouse remains open

However, the proposals do not include any changes to vehicular access.

After considering representations, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved the application on Monday, November 8.

A decision report prepared by planners said the proposal would comply with several policies in the council’s Core Strategy and Development Plan, or ‘local plan.’

This included the “regeneration and renewal” of North Sunderland and developing new homes to meet Sunderland’s housing needs through the “conversion and change of use of properties.”

The council decision report goes on to say: “The proposal would contribute towards the above policies by providing a dwelling house within
a built-up area which has many of the facilities for day-to-day existence within walking distance.

“Officers, in summary, consider that there are not any development plan policies that specifically seek to protect existing guest houses near the coast and the proposal would otherwise be a sustainable form of development.”

In addition, no objections to the plans were raised in terms of impacts on neighbours, ecology, heritage and highways.

Under planning conditions, the development must commence on site within the next three years.

For more information on the planning application, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 21/02164/FUL


Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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