IAMP Two will be built to the north of the initial project. Credit: planning documents

Sunderland rubber-stamps IAMP works

Site infrastructure and outline plans for 1.8m sq ft of employment space have been signed off by the council, which is partnering with South Tyneside on the automotive-led industrial park.

Should South Tyneside also greenlight the proposals put together by planning advisor Lichfields, plans can advance at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, a venture between the two local authorities, whose boundaries the site straddles, intended to attract ““European-scale super-suppliers” in the automotive sector.

A hybrid planning application was approved by Sunderland City Council’s planning committee this week giving the go-ahead for the “northern employment area” and second half of the IAMP site masterplan.

Effectively this is IAMP Two, a development area which was formerly regarded as a project of national significance, meaning development orders from the Secretary of State were required – however, the partners successfully lobbied for the removal of this classification in 2022.

On the IAMP One allocation, around 1.8m sq ft has been built out or permitted. The first phase within IAMP One is largely built out, and houses two suppliers to the neighbouring Nissan plant, in SNOP and Faltec.

Phase two of IMAP One includes the Envision AESC gigafactory plant, which was started late last year by contractor Wates – a facility that is expected to serve not just Nissan, but other vehicle manufacturers as they make the switch to electric vehicle production.

The first part of IAMP One is now operational. Credit: planning documents

The detailed part of the IAMP Two project is all about providing access to new employment space around International Drive, Washington, and includes the dualling of the A1290 between the A19/A1290 Downhill Lane Junction and the southern access from International Drive.

Further infrastructure included in the application is a new access road including a new bridge over the River Don; electricity sub-stations and a pumping station; along with drainage and associated infrastructure, earthworks, landscaping and all incidental works.

All of this will set the scene for the outline part of the application: 1.8m sq ft of industrial space with ancillary office and R&D space, along with the demolition work required to clear the required areas.

Ads outlined in a planning update report from November 2022 by Lichfields, IAMP “represents a unique and most important opportunity for the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors in the UK – delivering a bespoke, world class environment for these sectors”.

In this report, Lichfields details changes made since the original submission in April 2022. Feedback came from interested parties including Barratt David Wilson, which has a major site nearby, and neighbouring farms, largely around the loss of land around the biodiversity-driven part of the IAMP Two plans.

The professional team on the project includes masterplanner Urbed, landscape architecture firm Southern Green, ITP Energised, Systra, Balfour Beatty Living Places, Dendra Consulting and Headland Archaeology.

IAMP is a central proposal within the Sunderland City Deal, North East LEP and Strategic Economic Plan. The plans can be viewed at South Tyneside’s planning portal with the reference number ST/1172/21/FUL.

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