Sunderland Retail & Domestic Development Approved!

Former St. Hilda's Parish Centre

Former Department of Employment Office / St. Hilda’s Parish Centre, The Kings Road, Southwick, Sunderland.

Retail & Residential Planning Approval.

Clive Elsdon Building Design are pleased to announce that they have just successfully obtained Planning Approval from Sunderland City Council for the conversion of a former vacant Department of Employment Office and later Parish Centre on The Kings Road in Southwick, Sunderland into a Combined Retail and Residential Development including a Six Bedroom HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).

Planning Application

The Planning Application for the, “Change of use of the existing building  to create 3No. Retail Shop Units (Use Class A1), 2No. Residential Apartments and 1No. House in Multiple Occupation providing 6No. Bedrooms. Replacement of existing roof and incorporation of new gable windows, replacement windows and doors and external staircase.” was submitted by us on behalf of our client in December 2013.

The application was approved by Sunderland City Council on the 24th April 2014.

Emerging Policy

During the course of the application further information was requested by the local authority, some of it to answer an objection based on “Emerging Policy” raised by a Planning Consultant on behalf of the University of Sunderland.

An Emerging Policy in Planning is where a planning rule, normally part of the Local Plan, is about to change, meaning that in a short while the proposals would perhaps be in conflict with the revised Local Plan or the National Planning Framework. In some cases, a proposal that would conflict with the existing policy would perhaps become acceptable in the guidance offered by the new Local Plan or Framework.

The Proposals

The proposals covered by the Planning Application were to convert some of the Ground Floor Area into 3No. Retail Units with the remaining Ground Floor Area providing a self contained One Bedroom Flat, an Accessible Bedsit and the entrance to the Six Bedroom HMO.  The HMO itself is to be located on a brand new First Floor which would be constructed in the upper level of the existing single storey building. To facilitate this the roof will be replaced and a number of dormer windows installed.


An HMO or House in Multiple Occupation is a dwelling which separate individuals live but share some facilities.  In this case each unit (which is sized as a double room) has it’s own washing & toilet facilities but shares a communal area and kitchen facility.  Some HMO‘s will also share the bathroom / toilet facilities.  We have covered this in more detail on a previous post.  You can read that here:  Clive Elsdon Building Design Article on Houses in Multiple Occupation


The Planning Approval

All the documents relating to the Planning Application, including the Planning Approval Decision Notice and the Drawings prepared by Clive Elsdon Building Design are in the public domain and available on Sunderland City Council’s Website or by clicking this link: Planning Application Ref: 13/03928/FUL Former Department of Employment Office, The Kings Road, Sunderland. SR5 2LP

Would you like to take this project forward?

We understand from our client that he is considering selling the building to either a Developer or a potential Landlord in it’s current form, offering them the opportunity to develop the building using the recently obtained Planning Approval.  We would be happy to pass on the details of any interested parties to our client.  We would also be very interested in providing a fee quote to any potential purchaser / developer for taking this project through the Building Regulation Process and on to Site in the future.

Similar Project?

We would be happy to look at any similar projects or indeed any potential building project at all with a view to providing a fee quote for a Planning Application and / or  Building Regulation Approval. Within DL & DH postcodes (and some other areas) we are happy to attend a feasibility meeting on site FREE of charge.)  We always provide a written fee quote!

Please contact us either using our contact form or by email to design at cliveelsdon dot co dot uk (replacing the words at and dot with the appropriate symbols, or by telephoning us on 01388 526641.