Proposed development for mix of C2 (assisted living/extra care apartments) and C3 (over 55s retirement living apartments) with associated internal facilities at 31-44 The Green, Southwick


Ropley Properties Limited are proposing to demolish the more modern B&M building to the rear of 31-41 The Green and replacement with a split 3-5 storey care scheme, providing a total of 47 assisted living apartments, and 8 apartments for over 55’s retirement living. The original commercial building to the north of the site, with frontage onto The Green is to be retained for the potential of a two storey commercial building.

Members of the local community are invited to review the design proposals and provide feedback prior to the submission of the planning application. Consultation has already been undertaken between 20th October and 5th November 2023. This re-consultation seeks to clarify on queries raised from the initial consultation and allow an opportunity for more comments on the proposal.

The Site

The site lies to the North of Mount Pleasant, Southwick, Sunderland and extends to approximately 0.44 hectares. It comprises a B&M commercial unit, with an area of hardstanding car parking immediately to the west. The site is surrounded by a range of residential properties and to the north, there are a number of other commercial units.

With regards to public transport, the closest bus stops are located immediately north of the site, along Sunderland Road and there are stops further north along Beaumont Street. These stops accommodate a range of services including bus numbers 3, 13, 35 and 35A Cherry, 56 Cityrider, 4, 16 and 594. The closest metro station is Pallion, 1.2 miles away.

There are two listed buildings to the north, within the vicinity of the site. These are the Grade II listed Tramcar Inn, currently used as a public house and the Grade II listed Thompson Memorial in Centre of Green, with posts to north and south. The site does not lie in a Conservation Area.

The Environment Agency’s flood map for planning indicates that the site is entirely located in Flood Zone 1 and therefore, is at very low risk of flooding. The entirety of the site is also at ‘very low risk ‘ from surface water flooding, meaning there is less than 0.1% chance of flooding from surface water each year.

The Proposal

The Proposed Development seeks to:

– Demolish the majority of existing buildings on site, with part of the demolished building to the north of the site set to be retained for a two storey commercial building.

– Construction of a new, modern, split level 3-5 storey care scheme, providing 47 apartments. The apartments will be a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom and will have kitchen, dining and living space. The scheme will however also include communal areas such as kitchens, dining space, laundry areas, therapy space, activity/gym/quiet room, library and external terrace. There is also scope for ancillary uses such as a hairdresser. At the lower ground floor, there are 8 proposed apartments that are separate to the main building. These will be for over 55’s retirement living.

– Re-configure the existing site to create new access points and a new parking layout, including EV parking and visitor parking bays.

– Provision of new landscaping areas around the site.

Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) What is the nature of this scheme? Is it intended to be used as a care home with full care provided or an assisted living scheme with al element of care?

(A) The proposals are not for a care home. It will involve the provision of 47 assisted living apartments, with an element of care provided. The scheme will allow residents to retain independence, whilst also having access to an element of extra care should it be needed. The development is targeted at the elderly population, to meet an identified need. The proposals will also deliver 8 apartments on the lower ground floor which will be targeted at the retirement living market for over 55s.

(Q) What is to happen with the B&M store?

(A) The B&M will close regardless of this planning application, and this is outside of the scope of the proposed development. Notwithstanding this, the proposal demonstrates an opportunity to revitalise the area and improve amenity. A smaller retail unit is being retained to the north of the application site which fronts onto The Green. The application site is in a sustainable location close to Southwick Centre, and will provide living accommodation close to the highstreet. There will be a retail unit retained on the front street to the north, it is not clear at this stage who the final occupier of the building would be.

(Q) What is the need for the development in this area?

(A) The Sunderland Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2020 (SSHMA) identifies the need for 1,997 units for specialist older person accommodation over the plan period to 2033 between specialist older person C3 (57% of the units) and residential care C2 (43% of the units). This proposal will therefore assist with the provision of housing in an identified need.

(Q) Concerns of traffic / parking

(A) The loss of the car parking as a result of this planning application would not be a material planning consideration, and there is not policy protection for these land uses. That said, within the the site it will accommodate sufficient parking for the development within the boundary. It will operate a one-way system from west to east to manage traffic from the development. The scheme also includes Electriv Vehicle Charging Points and disabled parking for the new building. A transport assessment will be submitted with the application, which makes a detailed assessment of the access and parking for the site.

(Q) Concerns for design and amenity of the proposed building

(A) The proposed development has been carefully designed to consider the proposed area for development. The new development will be a clear improvement on the existing building, and presents an opportunity to improve the visual amenity of the this area. The maximum scale of the proposed building is just over a storey higher than the existing building on the site, and will also feature breaks in the roofline to assist with minimising the scale.

(Q) Existing ongoing safety concerns within the area

(A) The proposed development is targeted at elderly people in the area – it will not result in an increase in crime within the area. The proposed development has been designed so all elevations involve ‘active frontage’, this will allow for more visibility into the area which could assist with prevention of crime in the area.

Providing your Feedback

We invite you to provide your comments and feedback on the proposals. Comments can be emailed to or alternatively, posted to:

DPP, Studio 015, Haylofts, St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE.

Please submit your comments by no later than 5 pm 23rd December 2023.

Following closure of the consultation period, all feedback will be reviewed ahead of finalising the scheme for the planning application, and will be responded to within a Statement of Community Involvement which will be submitted in support of the planning application. Once the planning application has been submitted there will be a further opportunity for you to comment on the planning application through the LPA’s statutory consultation period.

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