Former Sunderland garage ‘a haven for dirty deeds’

Mac Burke lives across the road from the former petrol station on Ryhope Road, metal sheets are hanging down from the roof and could be dangerous.

Mac Burke lives across the road from the former petrol station on Ryhope Road, metal sheets are hanging down from the roof and could be dangerous.

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HIGH winds have left a former petrol station in a dangerous state, according to a disgruntled neighbour.

The gusts ripped a large sheet of metal from the roof of Southmoor Service Station in Grangetown.

The station has been out of use for more than eight years.

The 8ft x 6ft piece of corrugated metal crashed to the ground overnight at the site, which used as a car park during the day.

Neighbour Mac Burke said he is sick of acting as a “watchman” for the derelict station in Ryhope Road despite reporting a number of problems to the council, who then contact the owner.

“You only have to look at it to see it is dangerous,” he said.

“I have done this many, many times over the years and I am refusing to do it any more, because I don’t see why I should be the watchman.

“That metal sheet could have had hit someone on the head or neck. It’s a sharp-edged piece of corrugated metal.”

Mr Burke, who has lived in Ryhope Road more than 20 years, has dubbed the former filling station a mini-Vaux site.

Bids to regenerate it, including a recent application to build flats and shops, have been turned down by Sunderland City Council. Officers have deemed the structures as being safe, so its owner is not legally obliged to level it.

Mr Burke added: “We have been looking at it for eight years. It has become a right eyesore and it’s a haven for dirty deeds.”

Plans by the owner to change the filling station to a car wash and valeting service were rejected by the city council in September 2003.

Hopes to transform the site were also dashed in August last year.

Mushtaq Ahmed, a businessman from Newcastle, had wanted to construct a three-storey building, made up of homes of multiple occupancy and retail units, but planning committee members decided it would have a negative impact on nearby homes.

Mr Ahmed is now appealing the council’s decision.

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