Shah and Colman propose the student living, in the city centre. Credit: planning documents

Green light expected for Sunderland PBSA

Proposed at a Fawcett Street building neighbouring the grade-two listed Elephant Tea Rooms, approval is recommended for a 44-bedspace student development.

Applicant Shah and Colman is applying for a change of use at the site, 61-63 Fawcett Street, in the edge of the Sunniside conservation area.

The upper floors are currently vacant, with a furniture outlet at ground floor level. Reconfigured retail is intended to be a part of the site’s future, too.

The proposal would include the demolition of existing rear extensions and their subsequent replacement with a five-storey rear extension, with other interventions being two new dormer windows to the front and a new shop front.

Thus, most of the student living would be in the purpose-built block to the rear, with the existing upper floors converted to work into the scheme.

Included in the plans are suites across floors one to four, with a centralised dining/kitchen and meeting room at first floor, a TV lounge, gym and laundry on the first and second floors and a games room and group study room at third floor level.

The ground floor will be substantially retained for retail purposes although a small element, accessed from the rear on Station Street will be set aside for cycle and bin storage. A limited element of retail space will also be lost to facilitate the new independent entry/corridor access to the upper floor apartments from Fawcett Street.

In terms of neighbours, the area is predominantly characterised by retail and commercial uses at street level with some of the upper floors now being brought back into use, primarily through residential conversions for apartments and student accommodation.

The plans can be viewed on Sunderland’s planning portal with the reference 23/00393/FU4. They will be considered at the planning & highways meeting on 4 March.

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