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Greggs and B&M could be among the firms lined up to regenerate Sunderland's derelict former Farringdon Hall Police Station

Proposed business park development including Greggs, B&M and drive-thru coffee shop tipped for the site of former Farringdon Hall Police Station.

By Chris Binding
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 5:28 pm

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Plans for a new business park development on the site of a former Sunderland police station could be officially announced this month.

Farringdon Hall Police Station, off Primate Road, has been empty since 2015, when it was closed by Northumbria Police due to budget cuts.

Since then, it has become a target for vandalism and fly-tipping, with local councillors raising concerns over the safety of the site.

The former Farringdon Police Station, Primate Road, Sunderland.

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The site was sold to the current owners in November 2019, who subsequently confirmed a deal with Sunderland City Council to acquire surrounding land.

At a meeting of the council’s West Sunderland Area Committee on Tuesday (March 15), city councillors heard clearance of site debris had started and that a planning application will be submitted this month.

If approved, the site would be redeveloped to make way for a business park housing several national retailers.

Cllr Phil Tye, who represents Wearside's Silksworth ward, told the meeting that delays on the project were linked to discussions with the nearby McDonald’s branch, in North Moor Road.

He added a decision had been made for a new one-way system and road layout which would “completely alleviate” traffic issues, while also paving the way for fresh development on the former police station site.

Cllr Tye added: “It will potentially deliver, subject to planning, a B&M, a Greggs, a tanning studio, a vets and a drive-thru coffee shop and that will be launched officially through public consultation next week.

“That will be really good, the site won’t get demolished until after the permissions but everything will be stripped to just bricks and mortar, from a fire perspective, there will be nothing else to burn in there.

“The structure has to remain for a fall back case if that developer doesn’t get permission because it was initially going to be, as we know, flats.

“I think that certainly wouldn’t have suited anyone around this table.”

Cllr Tye has made several calls for the building’s regeneration after incidents on the site, including a fire which sparked asbestos concerns.

His recent comments about redevelopment plans were made following an area committee update from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, where the former Farringdon Hall Police Station was discussed.

Andrew Nelson, station manager for Farringdon Community Fire Station, told the meeting: “We had done a lot of work with partners and police because of the secondary fires and large volume of combustibles within the grounds.

“Security was enhanced and we put additional patrols on just as a deterrent and we spoke to the site owners, greater security was then added onto the site.

“It seemed to work for a few weeks which was really positive and then it started to rear its head again.

“From a fire service point of view, the quicker that site comes down and it’s cleared the better.

“But we will continue to report the loose refuse and try and remove as much of the sources of ignition as we can to try and alleviate the problem.”

More details on development plans for the former police station site are expected to be revealed in coming weeks.

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