PROUD residents of Hexham are pleading to developers to preserve archaeological features of the town.

Members of the Hexham Civic Society have raised concerns about the potential loss of possible medieval features during the ongoing transformation of the former swimming baths in Gilesgate into 46 flats.

While generally supportive of the application, recently submitted by Hexham Hotels in conjunction with architects Queensbury Design, society members are asking the applicants to retain stonework from walls said to date back to the medieval era at the rear of the building.

There are also worries about the ‘overpowering’ height of the planned seven-storey building.

Society chairman Paul Wharrier said: “From the earliest stages of the application, we have worked with the developers who have taken a lot of our concerns on board.

“We are very much in favour of the development of this site, but our main concern has been the elevation of the Haugh Lane side.”

Vice-chairman Roger Higgins added: “The primary issue we have is the archaeology that has been discovered could be annihilated, but we think the scheme should respond to the findings and not just operate as if it doesn’t exist.”

On behalf of Queensbury, Mike Axtell, said an archaeological report was currently ongoing and no decision on the future of the wall had been made.

He said: “We have worked alongside the civic society, the council and neighbours, and have listened to comments, but we can’t negate all those concerns. We have to do an archaeology report and additional trenching and methodology reports which are still ongoing.

“Until we have the advice from the archaeology reports, we can’t say what we can do, but it will be the right thing based on that advice.”