Warning over state of former Sunderland police station as fears '˜child could die' in derelict building
A child could die in a derelict former police station, councillors have warned.
The old Farringdon Hall Police Station building, in Primate Road, Sunderland, has been empty since officers relocated to the nearby Farringdon Community Fire Station.
But there are now concerns the state of the building could put lives at risk.
Speaking at a meeting of the West Sunderland Area Committee, city councillor Phil Tye said: “My greatest fear is that we will lose a child in the building.
“There’s some rooms you can see which are floor-to-ceiling full of fly-tipped rubbish and if a child gets stuck in there I’m scared we will have a fatality.
“It’s a bit of a standing joke that a police station can be in the state it’s in.
“It’s beyond a joke.”
Northumbria Police moved out of Farringdon Hall in 2015 due to budget cuts.
Since then it has become a target for anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and ‘urban explorers’ – groups or individuals who enter abandoned buildings and post videos and pictures of their expeditions to websites and social media.
As well as police, the fire service is also aware of issues at the site.
Farringdon station manager Steve Burdis said: “This was brought to my attention at the beginning of May and I brought it up with the old owner.
“The new owner tried to board it up with metal sheets, which were stolen.”
He also told the meeting he believed the building had been ‘earmarked’ for demolition in September.
Estate agency Sanderson Weatherall said it had been sold two years ago for about £530,000.
Plans were submitted in 2016 to convert the former cop shop into a gym, but the application was later withdrawn.
Coun Stuart Porthouse said: “It’s part of a bigger scheme and hopefully that will be resolved shortly, it’s in a deplorable state.
“But I also think we were let down by Northumbria Police selling it to a private developer and not allowing Sunderland City Council to buy it.”
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service