New food store planned for Sunderland Social Club site

Sunderland City Council recently approved a planning application for the Red House Workmen’s Club, off Rawmarsh Road in the Borough of Redhill.

Proposals included changing the use of the ground floor to ‘food retail’, as well as external modifications to the building.

This included a new storefront, new entrance delivery door and windows on the first floor to service the existing workers’ club on the front (west) elevation.

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Red House Workers Club, Sunderland.

In addition, the plans called for the existing openings on the side (north) elevation to be “bricked up”, a new access ramp, a delivery area and a parking lot.

The plans, submitted by applicant PL Group Developments, are to create a local neighborhood convenience store on the ground floor.

Meanwhile, the first floor of the building would be retained as a social club with access from a dedicated entrance on Rawmarsh Road.

A ‘Sequential Planning Assessment’ document, submitted to council planners on behalf of the applicant, indicates that the new store would create local jobs and improve the area.

These include plans contributing to “secure the future of commercial activity in this place by acting as a pole of attraction for the inhabitants and by enriching the local commercial offer on a daily basis in the territory”.

The planning document goes on to say, “The proposed reuse of the ground floor of the building would also result in the creation of approximately 15 full-time equivalent employment opportunities for local residents.

“[It] would help support the prosperity of this small community in an area (LSOA) that is among the 10% most deprived in England, as defined by the 2019 Multiple Deprivation Index.

“Finally, the proposal would secure the future and refurbishment of the Workers’ Club building which currently impairs the visual amenity of the area due to its dilapidated appearance and limited engagement with the surrounding streetscape.”

Although no operator has been secured for the retail unit at this time, planning documents suggest it would likely be a “nationwide convenience retail”.

A decision on the convenience store plan is expected to be made by early April 2022.

For more information on the planning application or to follow its progress, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 22/00086/FUL

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