Smart homes and sustainability top of the agenda for Sunderland

Plans for the first wave of sustainable smart homes at the Vaux site in Sunderland have been approved by Sunderland City Council.

A highly significant milestone for the Riverside Sunderland masterplan, the approval represents the first stage of a phased plan, which will eventually deliver four new neighbourhoods, housing 2,500 residents in a sustainable community at the heart of the city.

Managed by igloo Regeneration on behalf of Sunderland City Council, the Vaux site will see world-class homes, built using the latest technology and methods of construction, sitting alongside the orchards and allotments of Kingsley Gardens and nearby Riverside Park, which is continuing on its journey towards an accessible, attractive and ecologically diverse parkland.

igloo, the council and the wider design team, including masterplans and lead architect Proctor and Matthews Architects and MawsonKerr, landscape architect Camlins, Town Planning and Engineers at Cundall and engagement specialists Kevin Murray Associates are working closely with the community in Sunderland to ensure that the plans for the Vaux site weave into the existing fabric of the city, becoming an extension of its history and heritage, while also incorporating new, cutting-edge ideas and techniques that will provide a world-class destination for the homes and community, but also for the planned Future Living Expo in 2023.

igloo’s chief executive, Peter Connolly, said:

“The people of Sunderland have really embraced what we’re trying to do at Vaux, so planning approval is a massive step forward for the city and its focus on sustainability, and on its vision to be carbon neutral by 2040.

“The world has changed so much in the last year, people value their homes more, and recognise how important low carbon and smart technology will be as our lifestyles change, as well as the benefits to our own wellbeing and that of local wildlife. We believe that what we have planned for Vaux will continue to embrace this realignment that communities and individuals are facing in terms of true work/life balance, localisation and wellbeing as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Peter McIntyre, executive director of city development at Sunderland City Council, said:

“We’re aiming for something really different at Vaux – homes that will not only change the city centre, but that will transform the way our residents live.

“We’re delighted to have taken this important step forward, which paves the way for the first new residential neighbourhood, that will be completed by 2023, in time for our Future Living Expo, an event where we will showcase and celebrate new ways of living and the role new innovations can play in delivering a better quality of life for our people.”

Andrew Matthews, founding director at Proctor and Matthews Architects, said:

“Our design for the Vaux neighbourhood draws on the history of Sunderland to create a new urban quarter. We are delighted to receive planning permission for the first phase of this landmark project. The homes at Vaux, inspired by much-loved local typologies, have been designed to cater for a diverse demographic and changing lifestyles. All homes incorporate spaces for home working, a variety of private and shared amenity space and innovative Smart technology – all vital components to city centre living in the 21st century.”

Ian Cansfield, director of planning and EIA at Cundall, said:

“It is great to see this piece of the Riverside Sunderland Jigsaw falling in place and, having been involved since the start of the regeneration of tha Vaux site, this is particularly pleasing to see.”

Work is due to commence on site in summer 2021. Key highlights of the council’s masterplan for Riverside Sunderland include:
One million sq ft of modern office space, in a new central business district, providing 8-10,000 new jobs
A new city centre site for Sunderland’s Eye Hospital

Plans for a state-of-the-art library and community hub – the Culture House – that will attract tens of thousands of visitors a year to a new site in Keel Square

The upgrading of St Mary’s Boulevard into a stylish new city street

Transformation of Galley’s Gill into a superb landscape park, and new green spaces in the heart of the city
Smart City infrastructure, that will make Sunderland an even better place to live, work and play.
To find out more about Riverside Sunderland, and to keep up to date with the latest developments, visit


No results found.