NEIGHBOURS have welcomed demolition work to remove an eyesore from their community.
The former Bank Top garage and petrol station, in Addison Road, West Boldon, is being pulled down.
Planning permission was given seven years ago to build 10 houses and seven flats on the £1million site, but all work to renovate the plot has stalled since then.
Demolition firm Thompsons of Prudhoe has now started the process of tearing down the garage and an adjacent bungalow.
It hopes the work will be complete by early next month.
Michael Smith, site manager for Thompsons, said the four-week job should be finished by February 8.
“So far, we’ve got rid of the showroom, the offices in the showroom and the main office.
“The petrol station had a huge canopy over it, which we’ve brought down as well. For that, we had to burn the legs and let the roof fall in on itself.
“All the waste has been separated, so it can be disposed of cleanly and safely and we’ll continue to do that.
“There’s not much of the building left now, other than the bungalow, so we’ve moved on to the underground things.
“There are some underground storage tanks which have had all chemicals removed and been cleaned out. By next week, we’ll have removed them and the foundations of the building.
“When we’ve finished, we’ll have filled in the site with rubble and levelled it out, then it will be handed over to the developers.”
Residents of the village are delighted that progress is being made on the site.
Ian Clough, who lives in nearby Dipe Lane, said: “I think I speak for everyone who lives round here when I say I’m delighted that the garage is coming down.
“I just hope that whatever takes its place isn’t an ugly building, and fits in with the surroundings.”
The sale of the site is being handled by Newcastle-based chartered surveyors Naylors. It is are looking for offers of more than £950,000 for the plot which, they confirm, has planning permission for 10 three-bedroom houses and seven two-bedroom apartments with 25 car parking spaces in a courtyard.