Plans submitted for new city centre car park

A planning application for the development of an eye-catching 650-space multi-storey car park in Sunderland city centre has been submitted.

The multi-storey facility – which will be illuminated with colourful lights and features a stunning ‘living wall’ – will be located on Farringdon Row and will be the latest addition to Riverside Sunderland, a new urban quarter overlooking the Wear.  It follows the approval of plans for two new offices – providing some 200,000 sq ft of commercial space – by institutional investor Legal & General.  The application is likely to go before Sunderland’s planning committee in March, and if approved, work is expected to start in the summer months. 

The multi-storey car park (MSCP), which will stand in a prominent position on the edge of the Riverside Sunderland development, will cater for the increased number of people who will live, work and play in the city, as regeneration advances at pace.

It is expected that the MSCP will be used by workers in new offices that will rise from the ground on the site in the coming years, as well as residents and visitors to the area. 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland’s skyline has been transformed over the past 12 months with the opening of The Beam and work continuing apace on City Hall and – as work on two new office buildings and the Holiday Inn moves forward – it’s becoming clear for all to see just how much of a transformational impact this development is having on the city.

“Once complete, it is estimated that the wider Riverside Sunderland development will create up to 10,000 jobs and significantly boost the city centre population with the construction of thousands of homes, providing a huge boost to footfall in the city centre by increasing the number of people visiting, living and working in the city centre.

“Making it easy for people to access the city centre is paramount to this, and the development of the MSCP will be a central pillar in the wider transport and infrastructure strategy to really bring this area to life.”

Provision of this additional car park capacity should reduce pressure on other city centre parking such as St Mary’s MSCP, as well as ensuring additional provision is made for a surge in people heading into the city on a daily basis when City Hall opens.  The civic building, which was funded by Legal & General along with its two commercial buildings  – a model adopted to create a number of public sector hubs nationwide – will be the workplace of around 2,000 people next year, with a range of organisations locating there including Sunderland City Council and DWP, as well as other resident support services. 

With a commitment to sustainability on the Riverside Sunderland project, the car park will include an initial 15 per cent electric vehicles spaces.  It is expected the car park will operate outside of normal working hours, to support the evening economy in the city centre, and will operate through a combination of pre-paid permits and paid parking. 

It’s position on the edge of the city centre, linked by the Strategic Transport Corridor to Sunderland communities, will also help reduce congestion in the heart of the city, and by consolidating parking in one large facility, the MSCP should help to achieve a pedestrian-priority for Riverside Sunderland.

The news is the latest step forward for Riverside Sunderland, which will provide 1million of office space as well as four stunning new residential neighbourhoods, housing 2,500 people in ultra-sustainable smart homes.  The homes will be showcased in 2023, when Riverside hosts a month-long Sunderland Future Living Expo, a high-profile event which will showcase life in the new urban quarter.  UK and international visitors will be drawn to the first of the new neighbourhoods on the former Vaux site

In addition, a range of new leisure venues, retail hubs and public spaces are taking shape including the 120-room Holiday Inn Hotel on Keel Square; a 450-seater auditorium, that is under construction in the city’s Minster Quarter; a £1.9m regeneration programme – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Sunderland City Council – that has funded major improvements to nearby Town Park, along with improvements to historic buildings like the Dun Cow and Peacock and improvements to Mackie’s Corner, which will also gradually become home to more retail and commercial businesses, after being taken over by a Sunderland developer.  The historic Elephant Tearooms is also reawakening, as a Local History Library and there are plans afoot for a new library, Culture House which was recently backed by £25m from the Future High Streets Fund.  The improvements to Riverside Sunderland are part of a plan to boost the number of people living and working in the heart of the city, doubling the resident population of the city centre from 2,500 to 5,000 and increasing employment by 50% to 18,000.

For the latest developments from Riverside Sunderland, visit www.riversidesunderland.com.