FIRE chiefs have been given the thumbs up to build a new fire station for North Sunderland.
The plans for a replacement for Fulwell Fire Station have been approved by a Sunderland City Council planning commitee.
Bosses at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service first announced its intention to relocate from Fulwell four years ago.
It is hoped the new station – at Old Mill Road – will be ready by summer 2015.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Joy Brindle, said: “This is really good news for the local community and the Service.
“The new community fire station will be in the heart of the community and provide excellent new facilities which will be available for the local community to use as well as a first-class facility for our firefighters to train and work in.”
Fire Authority chairman Councillor Tom Wright added: “This new, modern station is great news for Sunderland.
“The location of this new community fire station will mean that our firefighters will be able to get to fires more quickly.
“We are looking forward to inviting our residents in to take a look and use our community facilities.
“Now that conditional planning permission has been provided we will be starting the process of appointing contractors to design and build the station.
“We hope that building work will start on site in spring 2014 and that it will be fully operational in summer 2015.
“We will also be organising information sessions to keep local people up to date on our plans.”
Coun Bob Francis also welcomed the move.
“One or two people in Fulwell have said they have always had a fire station, which is true,” he said.
“But there is a very strong case for a new one.
“We need a fire station where it is most needed. It’s common sense.
“The core of Fulwell fire station dates back to pre-war years, it was bombed during the war. I think this is a very good idea.”