DEMOLITION work has started on a landmark 1960s tower block.
Bulldozers have moved in to knock down Hahnemann Court, in Southwick, after gentoo abandoned its ambitious regeneration plans for the site.
In 2009, the company announced it was scrapping its £16million project to build a hi-spec replacement next door after it was hit by a slump in the global property market.
Instead, it offered tenants the chance to move to the City Green and Benedict Court apartment buildings near the civic centre.
Now, less than a year after the last residents left the tower block, demolition teams have started work at the derelict site.
Ian Porter, managing director of gentoo Sunderland, said the work is expected to be completed within eight months.
“I can confirm that MGL Demolition, a specialist demolition contractor, is currently working on site at Hahnemann Court in Southwick,” he said. “The work is planned to be complete by September.”
Residents gave a mixed reaction to the new plan when the Echo spoke to them.
However, since then, the firm said its customers had been very supportive while it dealt with the problems in hand.
About 100 Hahnemann Court residents began their move into their new homes last April, with the relocation now complete.
Gentoo said the new development comes with a wealth of benefits for its residents, including a doctor’s surgery and a city centre location.
The company also pointed out it is situated close to the Age UK Sunderland office, which offers support services for the elderly.
Marjorie Stothard, 82, who moved into a new apartment at City Green, said: “It has been worth the wait. I get an excellent night’s sleep as it is so quiet and because I live next door to my old neighbour from Hahnemann, it’s like a new, improved home from home.”
The Grace House Children’s Hospice will be built close to the Southwick site. Last year, the Grace House Appeal signed legal contracts for the land, behind Hahnemann Court. Hahnemann Court could still be redeveloped, possibly as housing or gardens.