SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL: Concern over protection of green spaces
City leaders are worried property developers are attempting to ‘buy their way’ into permission to build houses on undeveloped land.
This week (Tuesday, January 19) planning chiefs at Sunderland City Council rejected a second application in as many months to put homes on green space.
The proposals for the site at Cragdale Gardens, in Hetton-le-Hole, were turned down despite an official recommendation to approve by the city’s planning department and the prospect of a contribution worth almost £400,000 towards education, play and other outdoor facilities.
“One of the reasons I’m unhappy about this is that planners and developers seem to be able to buy their way into using green space [for building],” Washington Central councillor Len Lauchlan told the council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee.
“I’m worried about all the applications coming forward for green space, there seems to be quite a flood of them.
“While I understand the need for affordable housing, green space is also vital, especially at this time.”
Committee chair Cllr Melanie Thornton added she shared Cllr Lauchlan’s concerns and that this had been ‘highlighted in the decisions we’re making’.
Words: James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporter
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