Seaburn Update

Last week Siglion met local residents to respond to a number of questions that have been raised by the community. We wanted to share with everyone these questions and answers that we hope explain the planning process in a bit more detail. Siglion also want to reassure everyone that this is only the beginning of the development process and not the end. The ‘window of opportunity’ does not end when a planning application is submitted. Siglion would like to make it clear that they are happy to meet groups to discuss their needs. They hope to accommodate interest groups, sports groups and community groups.

Take a look at the questions that were raised and Siglion’s responses below.

Reasons for the report not being released for so long for the March 2016 consultation at the Seaburn Centre

 Siglion response: The exhibition held in March is just part of the process that is assisting us in bringing the site forward for development. Other consultations have been and are taking place and further survey work, such as highways, ecology and archaeological investigations is also being undertaken. In addition the proposals have been reviewed by an independent body, a design panel from RIBA North East. All of this is part of the pre planning application process and we need to study the results of all of this research. We want to provide people with a fuller picture as possible and we want to be able to use the results of the survey to help us market the site to leisure operators. We will provide an update and will explain further the planning process to confirm that the consultation continues even once the application is submitted for planning. This is only an outline application that will set the principles of development. The development has to be market led with the detailed elements coming forward once we have leisure operators identified. The results of the survey confirmed that many people shared the Vision for Seaburn. There is still concern about the number of houses.

Timescales for the regeneration of Seaburn

Siglion response : We are hopeful that the outline planning application will be submitted later this summer. This is an outline application that will set the principles of development only, for example maximum amount of leisure space, number of residential dwellings, minimum number of car parking spaces, maximum height of buildings. It will not fix the actual detail of any of the building blocks at all. This is why consultation will continue as we work with traders, residents and visitors to develop the plans further. The only element of the plans that will be detailed and fixed if the planning application is approved, is the new car park on Dykelands Road

Parking and traffic

Siglion response: We have undertaken detailed parking and traffic surveys and we will have to demonstrate to the Local Planning Authority as part of the planning application how the new development impacts this. The current proposals look to re provide 179 visitor car parking spaces, which would mean a loss of circa 45 spaces. However the parking surveys acknowledged that the car parks are currently under utilised only being full during events or on peak days.

There are other options we are seeking to explore to respond to some of the parking concerns including speaking with Morrisons about opening up their overflow car park for visitors to the seafront as well. We have confirmed that the car parking is likely to be pay and display as is common along many seafronts across the country. This helps regulate car parking for visitors.

It may be that resident parking permit schemes are needed for the surrounding roads, something that is common in many places where visitors park, I.e train stations, seafront resorts etc. This will be discussed with the Local Planning Authority as part of the pre application discussions.


Siglion response: We hope to submit the planning application later this summer and it is unlikely that any work will start before mid 2017. The development will be undertaken in phases and will be market demand led, I.e buildings will not be built and left empty waiting for a leisure operator to occupy them. They will only be constructed once the occupier has been identified and is legally signed up to occupy a unit. We are already marketing the opportunity to leisure occupiers to identify the demand and to help us develop the plans further. The development has to be sustainable and funded through private investment, there is no public subsidy available both in the short term for construction and in the longer term for future ongoing running costs. This is the same across the country with budgets being cut across all sectors. We are using the outcomes of the public survey to influence the kinds of operators we are approaching, to ensure that the wants and needs of the community are met wherever possible.

It is hoped that work will start to the rear and front of the site subject to the demand. It is difficult to say how long the overall development will take to complete as there are so many varying factors, attracting private funding, operators etc, 5-6 years is an estimate.

The current proposals include 100,000 sq ft of leisure accommodation and 279 new residential units. It is envisaged that the residential units will be a mix of accommodation from family housing to apartments for down sizers and empty nesters as well as possible sheltered assisted accommodation for the older generation. We cannot give a value for any of these residential units.

They have not be planned or designed yet. The plans show a maximum of 5 storey’s along the seafront but at varying heights along the way, rather than one continuous block to the front of the development. The site is being masterplanned to ensure it sits comfortably within its context.

We believe that it is important that the site is given a prominence and is seen as a focal point that should be landmarked which makes people curious to stop and investigate. Height and density are a way of achieving this. Siglion is proposing a variety of heights along the seafront, from 2 to 5 storey’s so it is not seen as one complete building. Comfort studies including wind and sunlight/daylight have been undertaken.

 Leisure pool development

Siglion response: The masterplan allows for a leisure pool to be provided if an operator can be found to build and run such a venture. However we do not believe this will be possible as swimming pools around the country require significant public subsidies to operate year on year. We are marketing the site to leisure operators, both national and local businesses. We are also discussing with Everyone Active who currently operate the Seaburn Centre about providing a gym/ leisure space in the development.

We are not aware of any application for a Gaming Licence for a Casino on the site. We are aware that the existing tenants have re applied to renew a gaming licence for the amusement arcade.



8 thoughts on “Seaburn Update

  1. Why is it that councils always want to help parking by charging for parking ( greed is the word ) give us Sunderland people free seaside parking.


    1. Why can’t the council use some of the huge amount of money it will receive for the sale of this prime seafront site to part run a leisure pool in partnership with a private investor?
      Or, why doesn’t the council get the builder of homes (who is going to make a mint on that site) pay for a leisure pool as part of the deal?
      At the moment all this development is housing.
      Giving NOTHING to the City!
      Who wants to go to the seaside for a walk on the beach and then around a facility less housing estate??
      Sunderland council as usual are taking the easy route for themselves and giving NOTHING to the residents of the City!
      We have the most beautiful beach.
      All year/weather facililites will attract visitors who will spend!
      Why is it so difficult for Sunderland council to give us facilities that South Shields (the TOWN up the road NOT a City like us!) take for granted?
      Answer that please!


  2. Siglion, let’s be clear about this…the group you spoke to were not representative of local residents…they were SaveSeaburn…a group who are in large part opposed to any plans other than those that they would like. Indeed one of the organisers has commented on this update, still grinding an axe about leisure pools even after you have explained why it’s probably a non-starter. Many of the SaveSeaburn group are not local residents at all, including one of the people now running the facebook group and in attendance at this consultation.
    I am a resident and both myself and most other residents I know are in favour of a mixed use development that improves the outlook of Seaburn. We need new high quality housing as well as an improved leisure offering. The only thing I would say is don’t build the car park on Dykelands Road if the whole development does not have commercial operators/investors…parking is needed only if the full site goes ahead, as there is already an abundance of parking for the existing offerings.

    Do not let one vocal group convince you otherwise….the people of Sunderland support the great plans put forward for this site.


    1. Borisbear – having lived in Sunderland for 43 year and currently living in Fulwell I have yet to meet a single person who wants to build a housing estate at Seaburn. This is designated leisure land and imho should NOT be used for housing. I agree current facilities are very poor and do need updating, but if we do not keep leisure at the core we will turn Seaburn into a ghost town. Do you honestly think the children of tomorrow want to go to Seaburn to go to the beach and to look at the housing estate? With a stunning coastline we need to add modern leisure facilities to give children and families something to do whilst at Seaburn rather than go to other seaside resorts such as South Shields.


      1. A mixed use development that is commercially viable is what is needed. The housing will pay for the facilities at the rest of the site as well as increase footfall. I have lived in Sunderland for 44 years, live right next to the site in question and everyone I know in the area is excited about the development. Many of SaveSeaburn don’t live in the area. We should work with Siglion to get the best development we can rather than bellyache about what cannot be delivered.


  3. A sickening abuse of authority by Sunderland council bulldozing UDP designated leisure land in the prime seafront location to line its own pockets for vastly expensive housing. This is not what the people and children of Sunderlqnd want. Shameful.


  4. I would buy a house on this new development. Close to the beach, bars and restaurants.. ideal!!. Things have to move with the times, time to look forward and not back. People were complaining when there were no plans.


  5. Seaburn pedestrian walkways have been upgraded and landscaped to a high level but when you cross the road to Morrisons side its a big let down . To me its like updating the garden and leaving a tatty house behind it. Have a look at Seaham in County Durham our neighbours showing Sunderland Council the way forward. It changed with the town vast improvement with a mixture of Shopping and houses ( the Byron centre ). Fully support this plan and hope it goes ahead ASAP. These green space warriers need to understand the seafront is for all and not just the rich and famouse.. . The current large open car park area its at times in a disgustingstate and a meeting place for litter louts and boy racers. RESPECT the Seafront .


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