Vertu Motors has submitted ambitious plans for a dealership upgrade which would allow it to represent Ducati in the north east of England.
The dealer group is seeking planning permission to undertake major works at its adjacent BMW and Mini sites in Sunderland.
Bosses want to move Mini under the same roof as BMW before building two extensions on the vacant showroom, the Sunderland Echo reports.
The upgrades would house a ‘motorbike workshop and extra parts storage’ and allow Vertu to add an ‘exciting motorcycle brand to the dealership’.
In its application, submitted to South Tyneside Council’s planning committee, the group names Ducati as the outfit currently in line to fill the space.
As part of the plans, an existing motorbike workshop at the site will be relocated to a ‘prominent central location within the building’.
That would also allow a space for a new purpose-built service reception which would be ‘linked to the new bike workshop’.
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The design and access statement says: ‘The extension is proposed as a response to the recently launched new BMW Corporate Identity Standards, which has created the opportunity to relocate the existing Mini brand (building 2) within the BMW building 1, welcoming an additional exciting motorcycle brand to the dealership (into building 2).
‘The increasing demand for motorbike servicing has also influenced the decision to expand the business.
‘The project will comprise of two small-area single-storey extensions to facilitate this.’
Vertu says that once the work is complete, it will allow the site to employ nine new full-time members of staff, in a welcome boost to the local economy.
The project would also see the number of customer motorcycle parking spaces increased from five to 19.
The application adds: ‘The site has been long established as a car and motorcycle dealership within the Boldon Business Park.
‘The development proposal reflects the thriving nature of the business and responds positively to the growing demands of customers.
‘The proposed unimposing extensions that are situated mostly under the existing structure are to seamlessly blend into the existing fabric of the building providing an improved customer experience at the premises.
‘The proposed finishes including the new access door and site bollards will all match the existing providing an unchanged overall view of the building.’
Planners are currently taking public comments on the proposals and a decision will be made at a later date.
Residents can have their say on the plans here.