Plans approved to convert historic building into new flats in Sunniside Gardens, council denies it is HMO

Plans have been approved to convert a historic building into new flats in Sunniside Gardens.

Sunderland City Council approved an application from Nulite Properties Ltd to turn former office space at the Somerford Buildings off Norfolk Street, into 11 self-contained flats.

The three-storey property at the edge of Sunniside Gardens was built in the early 20th Century and planners said the plans had the potential to contribute to the area’s revitalisation.

Approving the project, council planners said the proposed scheme would have “minimal” impact on the “character and sustainability” of the conservation area and would bring the Edwardian Baroque building back into use, preventing it from deteriorating.

The approved housing mix included both one and two-bedroom flats, with some larger two-bedroom flats for up to four people, reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Those behind the project said the scheme had the potential to house up to 22 people, according to planning documents.

During the consultation, a local business objected on the concern that the flats could also be used as controversial “HMO” (house in multiple occupation), but the council has denied that.