Sunderland flats could be demolished after huge gas explosion

A gas explosion ripped through a property in Whickham Street, Sunderland in February 2022. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A block of flats could be demolished following a gas explosion which caused extensive damage.

A gas blast tore through the block of flats, in the Roker area of Sunderland, in February 2022, destroying one property and causing substantial damage to several others.

In August 2022, Ian Lenaghan was jailed for five years for causing the explosion, which caused about £1million in damage and several people needed to be rehoused.

An application has now been made to Sunderland City Council to demolish the remaining terraced dwellings in Whickham Street.

Some of the damage caused to the properties in the gas explosion in February 2022. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Housing provider Gentoo, which has made the application, said repairing the properties would not be feasible.

The proposed demolition would be carried out within the boundaries of the site with a controlled dismantling from top to bottom and “demolishing inwards to the centre of site”.

Rubble would also be sorted and where possible recycled, with the site expected to be grassed and surrounded by a small fence.

According to planning documents, no redevelopment or rebuilding is proposed at a later date.

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