PLANS for a joint scheme to rejuvenate a derelict site in Hexham have gone on display for the first time.

Proposals for the former Hexham workhouse site and car park were unveiled last month, while developers HMC Group and McCarthy and Stone held a public drop-in last week to allow residents to have their say.

In general, residents reacted positively to HMC Group’s proposals.

Iain Roberts of Built Environment Communications Group, who organised the drop-in, said: “We’ve been really busy. We’ve had over 100 people in.

“The overwhelming response has been relief that the old workhouse buildings are being saved.

“We have had some concern from immediate residents so we have to take that into account.”

Haydon Bridge resident Rob Stickland added: “I’m very impressed.

“This site is a mess. It’s a blight on the town, but to see it turned into homes will really improve the look of the town. “

However, residents of neighbouring Peth Head have raised concerns about McCarthy and Stone’s development on the car park next to the workhouse, with plans to build a four-storey block of one and two bedroom flats for the elderly.

Howard Graham, who lives on Peth Head, said: “I’ve lived here for 38 years and now they’re going to build a block of flats four storeys high, to the height of Hexham General Hospital.

“It’s not on, I’m not going to get any sunlight. I’m not saying don’t build there, but four storeys is a hell of a big building.”

Coun. Cath Homer, who represents the Hexham East ward, agreed that there were issues with the proposals, but added that nothing was yet finalised.

She said: “As far as the workhouse is concerned I’m delighted.

“It’s a significant building at a gateway to Hexham.

“What I’m not so happy with is the McCarthy and Stone plans for the adjacent site.

“As it stands I don’t think it’s right for Hexham and I would urge them to look again.”

Coun. Homer added that residents would have another chance to have their say at a consultation event on March 23 at Hexham Abbey.

However, Mr Roberts responded: “Although the schemes are separate, they work together. It wouldn’t be possible to bring the workhouse back into use without the financial contribution of the McCarthy and Stone retirement living apartments.”