Sunderland City Council currently has three renewal areas and below is an outline of the aim, targets, background and work carried out in the renewal areas to date.

What is a Renewal Area?
A renewal area is an identified neighbourhood which is the subject of housing led regeneration due to housing decline. Renewal areas are identified from independent private housing stock condition surveys which are carried out over the whole of the city.

Our aim is to promote strong, safe and stable neighbourhoods in areas of housing decline, in close partnership with local communities, starting with Castletown, Hetton Downs and Middle Hendon.

We are aiming to:

  • tackle housing decline in identified communities
  • improve the quality, choice and range of housing in renewal areas
  • develop long term plans for local regeneration and housing that meets the community's needs, now and in the future
  • work closely with residents and key partners in the local communities
  • develop our plans and actions in the best way possible


Castletown and Hetton Downs
The Castletown and Hetton Downs areas were identified from the Private Sector House Condition Survey 2002 as being in an advanced stage of housing decline.

Neighbourhood Renewal Assessments

In 2003, the Council commissioned Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment (NRA) studies on selected streets in both areas to examine in more detail the condition of the houses and the surrounding environment.

The findings of the NRA studies were that the properties studied were among some of the poorest quality housing and living environments experienced in Sunderland. The study also found that widening the study area with a view to area regeneration was the best course of action to deliver housing renewal in these two areas.

Masterplan and Area Action Plan

As a result, Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, an independent consultancy firm, was appointed in 2005 to develop a regeneration Masterplan for Castletown and an Area Action Plan for Hetton Downs. A Masterplan for the Castletown area has been developed and it was approved by the Council in December 2008 as an interim Supplementary Planning Document. This means that it is part of the Council's planning framework and carries a lot of weight.

The Hetton Downs Area Action Plan (AAP) is still under development. Extensive consultation within the wider community during 2006 to 200led to a preferred option which included terraced housing in Maudlin Street within a wider site for new housing development in the future. The AAP is currently at the preferred option stage and is still evolving but has some limited weight as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

In consideration of this a further NRA, specific to Maudlin Street, was deemed necessary. External consultants,Consult CIH, were appointed to undertake this study which proceeded in 2010 and involved assessment of housing standards, environmental factors affecting the neighbourhood, consultation with residents of the street and other stakeholders as well seeking the views of the wider local community. A housing market assessment was also undertaken and all factors were considered in the development and appraisal of options. The report, finalised in May 2011, recommended that acquisition of the remaining 23 privately owned houses with a view to clearance of all 28 properties was the best course of action available. Owners, tenants and other interested parties have been informed of the findings and the recommendation has been reported to Council for consideration.

For further information please contact:

Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal Team

Tel: 0191 520 5555


A New Housing Development for Castletown

All of the properties earmarked for demolition in Castletown have now been demolished and 145 family houses are currently being built through a partnership arrangement between the Council, Gentoo and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The houses are different sized properties with some for rent and some for sale. The first phase was completed in March 2011.

Castletown Block Improvement Scheme

Additionally a block improvement scheme was completed in summer 2011 in the older terraced streets of Sheppard Terrace, Elizabeth, Stanley and Alder Streets and parts of Oswald Terrace and Castle View. The scheme has seen external improvements to the properties. "Softer" projects such as neighbourhood wardens and a gating project have already been implemented to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

Hetton Downs Area Action Plan Activities

A Preferred Option has been developed for the Hetton Downs area and this was presented to the local community for consultation. The final Area Action Plan (the submission document) is currently being developed. It is anticipated that the Area Action Plan will be adopted by the Council in 2012. As part of the regeneration of the area, an environmental improvement project has been carried out on the retail area of Market Street and the voluntary purchasing and demolition of targeted streets is on-going.

Middle Hendon
Sunderland City Council, in partnership with Back on the Map, appointed Consultant CIH to carry out a Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment of approximately 1000 properties in Middle Hendon in June 2006. This was in response to the findings of the Private Sector House Condition Survey 2002 and serious concerns expressed by the local community and residents on the decline of some housing in the area.

NRA Housing Projects
Delivery is starting with a block improvement scheme to over 400 older terraced properties in middle Hendon, which was completed in spring 2011. Additionally a site is being assembled for future affordable housing on the Amberley and Harrogate Streets and Salem Streets' site.

Selective Licensing

The Selective Licensing Scheme which commenced on the 1st July in the middle Hendon and 'Long Streets' area is a powerful tool used to tackle problems in the private rented sector and means that all landlords of privately rented properties will have to apply to the team for a licence to continue operating in the market. To obtain a licence, landlords will have to meet certain criteria such as demonstrating they are "fit and proper" persons and able to manage the property and the tenant.

For full details you can visit our page which will give you full details of the scheme.

How we work towards Area Renewal

  • On going community engagement and consultation 
  • Purchasing and maintenance of private houses with support for relocation 
  • Development of an Area Action Plan and local delivery plans for Hetton Downs 
  • Implementation of regeneration options included in the Masterplan, Area Action Plan and Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment. 
  • Develop and build sustainable new homes on identified sites within the renewal areas 
  • Improve the standard of private housing in renewal areas, including block improvement schemes
  • Monitor and evaluate systems, procedures and outcomes to ensure that we improve our service

Time scales
Planning and Development Stage - March 2004 - 2012 (approximately) 
Delivery and Evaluation - 2006 - 2026

Funding Partnership

  • Homes and Communities Agency - £5,000,000 for purchasing and demolishing properties in Hetton Downs and Castletown (2003 - 2007). 2009 - 2011 - £2.95 million for Castletown. 2009 - 2012 £7.15 million for Hetton Downs
  • Single Housing Investment Programme for site assembly -2004/5 £1million; 2005/6 £1.4million for Eppleton only, 2006/7 908,000, 2007/08 £1,612,000; 2008/09 £889,000 and 2009/10 £988,000 for renewal work in Castletown, Hetton Downs 2010/11 £847,000
  • New Deal for Communities funding - £100,000 for Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment in Central Hendon and £4,500,000 New Deal for Communities funding for the implementation of the Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment.  £698,443 for the Selective Licensing Scheme