It has emerged that a member of Sunderland Council has allegedly recently stated that he believes a whopping 50% of residents would like a housing development on the land immediately surrounding Penshaw Monument.  This bizarre statement was recorded by local activist group Save Penshaw Greenbelt on their Facebook page.  The group, who seem skeptical of the accuracy of the statement following a battle with the council against selling off the surrounding land to developers to build around the iconic Sunderland landmark.  

A Sunderland For Transparency spokesman remarked "While we cannot confirm or deny the comments at this stage they certainly would not surprise us.  We would be very curious to see if any of the Councillors eager to sell off the land have any connections to the firms looking to bid on contracts for the proposed developments!".