Skip to content

Business & Economy

New smart bridge over the River Wear expected to win planning consent

A new high-level pedestrian footbridge over the River Wear in Sunderland is expected to win planning approval within days.

The £31 million smart-bridge will connect the transforming former Vaux Brewery site to the Sheepfolds, providing improved links to the Stadium of Light, the St Peter’s University of Sunderland campus and residential communities to the north of the river.

Plans for the project are expected to be approved by the Sunderland City Council planning committee on March 29, alongside plans for the first 132 new homes at Riverside Sunderland and new parking provisions.

The bridge will feature creative lighting and augmented reality, allowing people to use their smartphone to see virtual displays.

It will provide access to both pedestrians and cyclists creating improved connections between the city centre and the coast.

The residential scheme also hoping to pass planning on Monday comprises a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom new homes on land overlooking the city riverside.

The application sets out proposals for a sustainable new community, which is due to be completed by 2023, in time for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a public event that will showcase a new way of city living and the transformation of Riverside Sunderland into a vibrant new place to live.

Proposals are for 91 houses and 41 apartments designed by architects Proctor & Matthews and MawsonKerr.

An application is also set to be reviewed for an eye-catching 650-space multi-storey car park on the Riverside Sunderland site.

The multi-storey facility – which will be illuminated with colourful lights and features a ‘living wall’ – will be located on Farringdon Row and will be the latest addition to support the delivery of Riverside Sunderland, a new urban quarter overlooking the Wear.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The rate at which planning applications for this important development are going before committees sets out the scale of our ambition for Riverside Sunderland, while the quality of these proposals demonstrates our commitment to create something world-class, working with award winning architects to ensure that Riverside Sunderland is a place we can all be proud of.

“These schemes will quickly advance if they’re passed through planning, so by 2023, the Riverside will be transformed.

“With plans for a new state-of-the-art eye hospital and two high-quality office buildings from Legal & General advancing too, there is now only space on the former Vaux site for two further commercial developments, which demonstrates the pace and vigour with which we have delivered, since the first development – The Beam – completed in 2019.”