THE architects behind the change of Hexham’s former swimming pool into apartments has said there is plenty of work taking place behind the scenes.

Scaffolding has been erected on the former swimming pool building on Gilesgate, which received planning approval last year.

Mike Axtill, project lead at Queensberry Design, said work had been ongoing to ensure paperwork was in place including renewing the bat licence.

In October a planning application from Hexham Hotels Limited was approved for six one-bedroom apartments, 36 two-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom duplex units and one two-bedroom penthouse.

It also covers landscaping, a parking area with 46 spaces and an alteration to the public right of way between Gilesgate and Haugh Lane, creating a more direct route.

Mr Axtill said: “Lots is happening but not much actually on site – there is so much to do before you get on site such as design work and paperwork. It can take up to six months from the point of approval.”

He said the next stage would be to do some remedial works before the old building could be demolished. This involved strengthening the support for Gilesgate Court, which is currently partly supported by the old swimming pool building.

He said plans involved beginning demolition work this summer, and a rough estimate for completion would be around 18 months.

Meanwhile, planners and tree experts had recommended the removal of several old trees at both the entrance to the car park and on the Gilesgate side of the building. Northumberland County Council said those at the car park entrance would be replaced by new trees in a landscaped garden area.