Plans to turn job centre into student flats

A general view of the building at 60-66 John Street in Sunderland
Sunderland City Council received the application for 60-66 John Street in the city centre [BBC]

Plans to transform a former job centre into 78 student flats have been unveiled.

The application would see the site in Sunderland city centre - opposite the former Joplings building - be repurposed and extended by a further two floors.

Plans submitted by Ashbrookes Design and Build Ltd said the building, in John Street, would also have communal lounges, a gym, bike store and laundry.

Sunderland City Council's planning committee is expected to make a decision by 24 June.

Planning documents said: “The applicant has experience of large schemes and considers that the group living concept, in which the residents have access to shared lounges etc, promote a sense of community, shared ownership and successful bonding between the students.”

There would be 10 studios on the first floor, along with a communal lounge, refuse store, bike store and laundry and storage facilities.

The first floor would accommodate 20 studios as well as a communal gym and lounge.

A total of 48 studios are planned across the two new upper floors, with 24 studios per floor, along with communal lounges and storage facilities, the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Parking would also be provided.

Pedestrian access would be via John Street, with a service yard for vehicles off St Thomas Street.

Documents said this would be “strictly managed via a time-sensitive appointment”, especially at the start and end of academic years.

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