Council approves Langham Tower restaurant plans

Written by on 14th February 2023

Plans for a historic former school to be turned into a restaurant have been given the green light.

Langham Tower, one of the city’s most recognisable buildings and currently a bar and event venue, has had plans to transform the ground and first floor of the building into a restaurant approved by Sunderland City Council.

Located on the corner of Ryhope and Mowbray Road near the city centre, the Ashbrooke Grade II listed building is also set to boast function rooms for work events and wedding receptions.

Notable former pupils of the old school include former BBC journalist Kate Adie, Eileen O’Shaunessey (wife of George Orwell) and the late TV agony aunt Denise Robertson.

As part of the plans, a designs and access statement read that the venue will include “occasional live music and a live DJ”.

Langham Tower is a popular bar venue after it first went from derelict to back in business after plans were first submitted in August 2018.

However, when plans were submitted last year, some residents expressed concern about noise levels after multiple resident complaints were made about the newly renovated building back in 2021.

One commented: “At times there was extremely loud music playing till 2am and shouting in the street long after. There was also increased litter after any busy night including glass bottles left in the street.”

Another resident also had reserves about the prospect of music, saying: “Whilst this can cover a vast array of “entertainment” the concern is about live or recorded amplified music.”

They added: “I refer back to June/July 2021 when concerns and complaints were made by local residents as to the disturbance outdoor entertainment caused.”

Addressing noise levels, the design and access statement said: “There will be light background music played throughout the ground floor areas throughout weekends with occasional live music and a DJ on weekends for events such as wedding receptions.”

The statement adds that: “All music and live music will be non amplified.”

The tower, built in 1889, was formerly owned by Sunderland High School before its eventual closure in 2016.

Langham Tower formerly housed the teaching of maths, media studies, modern languages and religious studies.

The school was forced to close after making six figure losses.

Other buildings on the site, including St Cuthbert’s Hall and Carlton House, have since been renovated into offices or housing, as well as some being demolished.

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