Former Sunderland amusements building to be demolished for family entertainment centre

The building, formerly Bellerby’s Amusement Arcade, was acquired by Seldons Leisureworld Ltd in 2020. Credit: Google Maps

Plans to bulldoze a former seafront amusements building in Sunderland to make way for a family entertainment centre have been submitted to the council.

The building on Marine Walk in Roker, formerly Bellerby’s Amusement Arcade, has been vacant for a number of years.

Now, Sunderland City Council's planning department has validated an application for it to be destroyed.

Under the new plans, a modern two-storey facility could be built offering a family entertainment centre, cafe and three apartments. A small car park at the back of the site has also been proposed.

An application form also states the plans would create around ten jobs with five full-time employees and five part-time roles.

The planning, design and access statement describe the existing building as in "poor condition" and "no longer fit for purpose".

The development plans will follow the designs of more recent developments at Pier Point on Marine Walk. Credit: Google Maps

The documents also say: "In terms of scale, height and massing, the proposed development carefully responds to the context of the site to ensure any impact on the surrounding areas will be kept to a minimum.

“In this regard, the building’s form, styling and proposed materials take inspiration from the traditional timber buildings that have historically lined the lower promenade.

“It also follows the design theme of the more recent developments at Pier Point to the south of the site.

“In this respect, it reflects the mix of historic building types that once characterised the area in a contemporary fashion”.

New designs prepared by Seldons Leisureworld Ltd also include a planned replacement RNLI store to compensate for the loss of the existing one under the proposed development.

Those behind the leisure facility design say it will "serve the needs of visitors without adversely affecting the environment or the character of the surrounding area".

A decision on the plans will be made later this year once a period of council consultation has concluded, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

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