Chief executive is leaving Sunderland Arc to take charge of the North Staffordshire city development company

The regeneration boss who has taken on Tesco in a high profile dispute has quit to take up a new job.

Tom McCartney, who has been chief executive of the Sunderland Arc urban regeneration company since it was set up five years ago, has announced that he is stepping down from his post. He is leaving to take the helm at the North Staffordshire city development company.

Vaux brewery
McCartney was in charge of Sunderland Arc during dispute with Tesco over former Vaux brewery.

McCartney has been in charge of Sunderland Arc throughout the URC’s dispute with Tesco over the site of the former Vaux brewery.

The retail giant wants to build a supermarket and housing on the site. But Sunderland Arc want to see a Piers Gough masterplanned mixed use scheme including 1000 homes and offices for 3000 people on the site, which occupies a prominent location between Sunderland city centre and the river Wear. Both parties are waiting for a decision from communities minister Ruth Kelly on their schemes after a public inquiry last summer.

The arc is also developing a number of other regeneration schemes in the city.

The arc’s operations director David Walker is taking over as interim chief executive.

McCartney, who also saw Glasgow’s much admired Crown Street project, said: "I wouldn’t be leaving if I didn’t believe that Sunderland’s regeneration has been put on such a firm footing."