Residents encouraged to speak up on opposition to North Moor Housing development

Northumberland housing group Bernicia homes are eying up a patch of land next to North Moor Road to build 47 new homes. The proposal has been in the works for several years, but public consultation is only underway now. The development would see all the vacant green land behind McDonalds, the Fire Station, as well as the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in addition to the side area of the field towards the footpath (which was once the Hetton Colliery Railway line) be built on.

These plans come in tandem with the proposal to demolish the former Farringdon Hall Police station building, a derelict eyesore and to build a new B&M, Greggs and Costa Coffee in its place. Together, these proposals would construct a whole new area between Farringdon and Plains Farm. However, there are many reasons why residents might otherwise object to them.

First of all, the council’s policy of selling what is deemed “green land” or “open space” to developers has been increasingly controversial. This policy is driven by government housing targets, but also is a lasting impact of the council’s increasingly under pressure budget, long term austerity and the need of the local authority to make money through real estate enterprise. These developments have been springing up all over Sunderland, although to many they make little sense because Sunderland’s population has stagnated and there has been plentiful brownfield land to develop housing on.

Secondly, the impact of a new housing development combined with a retail area will immensely increase the flow of traffic on North Moor Road, as well as the Durham Road, which will create an inconvenience for existing residents. As it stands, the McDonald’s alone has often been a challenge on times such as weekends whereby the drive thru fills up and out down North Moor Road.

However, while local residents may complain about the plans, it is up to them to make their voices heard and simply moaning about it on social media will not make a difference. The consultation closes on November 24th and the council will certainly use a perceived lack of response from their survey to argue there was little real opposition to it, as they did in Newbottle recently. Political apathy is de-facto political consent for the status quo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *