Plans approved for next phase of International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) across Sunderland and South Tyneside

Plans for the next phase of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) have been given the green light by councillors.
Aerial image of IAMP site. Picture: Google Maps.Aerial image of IAMP site. Picture: Google Maps.
Aerial image of IAMP site. Picture: Google Maps.

In recent weeks, Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council have backed a cross-boundary planning application for the major employment site, near the Nissan factory.

The development is a joint venture between the two councils and the wider site crosses the administrative boundaries of both local authorities.

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The IAMP has been designated as a ‘nationally significant’ project by Central Government, and is expected to create thousands of jobs over several phases.

Since the first phase of the development ‘IAMP ONE’ was approved in 2018, work has been taking place to attract businesses linked to the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.

New plans for the ‘northern employment area’ at the IAMP site took a significant step forward at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee this week.

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The detailed part of the hybrid planning application considered by councillors on August 29, 2023, proposed infrastructure improvements to support the IAMP.

This included the dualling of the A1290 between the A19/A1290 Downhill Lane Junction and the southern access from International Drive.

A new access road with a bridge was also proposed across the River Don, as well as a pumping station, electricity substations and landscaping.

The outline part of the planning application comprised four plots for new industrial units of up to 168,000sqm, with each plot capable of housing at least one unit.

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The proposed uses included light industrial, general industrial and storage and distribution, as well as “ancillary office and research & development floorspace”.

Due to the flexibility to deliver several units across each plot, a maximum of twelve units could be delivered in total.

As an outline plan however, the detailed designs of these units would be subject to a further ‘reserved matters’ application or applications.

The hybrid planning application supports the IAMP Area Action Plan which aims to create a “nationally important and internationally respected location for advanced manufacturing and European scale supply chain industries”.

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A report presented to South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee said the next phase of development would have major economic benefits.

This included the generation of between 140 – 165 direct full time equivalent jobs per year over the 10-year construction period, and the creation of a further 345 indirect jobs in the supply chain.

Councillors heard that there had been several rounds of public consultation with representations from local farms and a local business, as well as organisations with land interests in the area.

Concerns from Strother House Farm, Mount Pleasant Farm and Hylton Grove Farm ranged from loss of agricultural land and increased noise to wildlife impacts.

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After being put to the vote, a majority of South Tyneside councillors approved the plans at South Shields Town Hall.

Councillor Eileen Leask welcomed the development and said it would “provide employment that we desperately need”.

Sunderland City Council has already backed plans for the cross-boundary planning application for the part of the development which falls within its administrative area.

This included the erection of an industrial unit, an ecological landscape mitigation area, the dualling of the A1290 and the provision of a new access road.

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While the majority of the IAMP expansion plan is based in South Tyneside, councillors heard that works were needed in Sunderland to provide access and open the site up for development.

At a meeting of Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee on July 31, 2023, councillors gave unanimous support to the IAMP application.

Councillor Iain Scott, speaking at City Hall at the time, said the delivery of the IAMP was “absolutely critical to the economic prosperity of the city”.

Under planning conditions, the aspects of the plan benefiting from full planning permission must commence on site within three years.

The outline elements of the plan, including the new plots for industrial units in South Tyneside, would be subject to a further reserved matters application or applications before work can start.