An outdated South Shields shopping block and flats have been given a temporary reprieve from demolition - despite the bulldozers being moved to standby.
Council chiefs say they do not expect to pull down the three ground level retail units and three storeys of properties above – at Fallow Road, off Lizard Lane, Marsden - until August.
It comes after they granted their own planning officers, permission to progress the pull down plan, which was put in motion in November.
Just one of three businesses at the site remains open – and bosses there say they have already made plans to relocate.
They confirmed they have no objections to moving their general dealers store, which they have leased from South Tyneside Council for around 20 years, to another site, possibly out of the borough.
Documents show there were also no objections to the scheme from residents living close to a site which the council says is now surplus to requirements.
Council case officer Emma Thomas said the land would be cleared after demolition and top soiled ahead of possible future redevelopment.
In a report, she said: “All demolition materials are to be sorted for re-cycling and reuse. Non-recyclable materials will be transported to a land fill site.
“The building plot will be finished with imported sub-soils and top soils graded to match existing gradient and finished with grass seed.”
A spokesman for Marsden General Dealers, the only business remaining open, said: “We’ve rented the unit from the council for about twenty years.
“They put a notice up outside to let people know that they wanted to pull the building down, a plan which we have not objected to.
“The council has indicated that it will start the demolition in August and we plan to be here until around June.
“We have already made plans to move the business to another location.”
The council expects the demolition project to take around eight weeks and be completed by the end of September.