Anger as Sunderland council leader uses casting vote to approve plans for 72 new Shiney Row apartments

Local residents have reacted with anger as Sunderland Council leader Graeme Miller has used his casting vote on the city’s planning committee to approve an application for 72 new apartments off Station Road and Greta Avenue in Shiney Row, despite objections from residents.

The apartments will be tailored towards people aged over 55, but had attracted objections due to proximity to the Grade II-listed Penshaw House and the impact it might have on the building.

Numerous more objections were raised at the meeting, with one describing the plans as “grossly inappropriate in design and scale”.

After the vote on the planning committee was tied, Miller proceeded to use his own casting vote privilege to green light it.

The council has come under growing scrutiny for its housing policy which has involved the rapid usurpation of green land throughout the city to force through more and more developments, many of which have proven controversial.

The privately owned city housing group, Gentoo, has defended the building spree by arguing that Sunderland has a growing demand for more affordable housing.