RESIDENTS have raised concerns about the way work is being carried out on a £36m new school development.

Developer Galliford Try has already started work on new buildings for pupils in Hexham at Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School, at the current high school site.

But Andrew Marrow, who lives on Allendale Road, said he was concerned that work on a floodlit hockey pitch, which backed on to his garden, was going ahead despite the fact a planning condition relating to the issue had not been discharged by Northumberland County Council. The developer is required to agree the height of the pitch with the council.

He said: “When the pitch is higher, our properties will be overlooked and people will be able to see into our property, and our next door neighbour’s, because we are set a lot lower than the pitch. The lower it will be, the worse the noise gets as it’s closer to us.” He said his property had not been surveyed to gather the information which would be needed, while his garden had already been flooded while work was taking place.

Another resident, Colin Richardson, said he and others were shocked to find a number of mature trees had been cut down at the back of the school, which they believed would not have been in the way of any future development.

A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said some trees had been removed to enable access to the site, and a full landscaping scheme would be agreed. “The issue in a neighbouring garden was due to a burst water main, and a temporary solution has been put in place to resolve this,” she said.

“The work currently underway is site clearance and preparation. An application to discharge the condition relating to details about the new pitches has been made and is currently being considered by the council’s planning team.”