Demolition work has begun as a former Sunderland police station is razed to the ground to make way for a multi-million-pound retail development.

Almscliffe Dhesi Developments (1) Ltd, part of the Almscliffe Dhesi Group, has today [26 Jan] began demolishing the former Farringdon Police Station, just off Durham Road.

The company was granted planning permission in June last year to demolish the former station and construct a £10million retail park in its place.

Once complete, the development will see it transformed into a thriving retail hub comprising a B&M, Costa Drive-Thru, Greggs, Marie Curie, Westway Vets and a tanning salon, creating over 100 jobs.

It will also comprise a car park for around 110 vehicles, including accessible bays, cycle parking and electric vehicle charging points.

In addition, an improved access to the site will be created from Durham Lane close to the A690 roundabout and the developers have assured planners that the McDonald’s entry point will be improved to alleviate queuing traffic on North Moor Lane.

Bal Singh, a director of Almscliffe who also lives in the city, said: “It fills me with great pride to finally see work beginning on the demolition of the site.

“Having worked with Cllr Tye on this project for over five years, it has been a real labour of love for both of us as we’re both incredibly proud of the area and our city.

“Once complete, it will add real value to the community, creating over 100 jobs for local people and providing a significant boost to the local economy.

“It’s amazing to see it finally getting underway and we are hoping that contractors will be on site by April with it hopefully being fully occupational by Spring 2025.”

Since its closure in 2015, the former Farringdon Police Station has attracted thousands of complaints from residents in relation to anti-social behaviour on the site.

Cllr Phil Tye, Labour councillor for Silksworth Ward, has worked closely with Bal on the development and is delighted to see work finally begin on the site.

“As someone who was born and raised in Silksworth, I am absolutely thrilled to be standing here today as work finally begins on the demolition of the site,” he said.

“This building has been nothing but a blight on our community since it closed its doors eight years ago, so it’s been great working with Bal, who shares our vision of once again making this a key pillar of the community, to breathe new life into the site.

“As councillors, we are committed to delivering a cleaner, greener, better Silksworth Ward but we can only do this by working with likeminded who share that ambition, and this is a great example of how we’re achieving that through such collaborative working to improve the lives of our residents.”