MP GUY Opperman has called for an urgent update on the Prudhoe Drill Hall site following concerns from residents.

An ongoing dispute has prevented the building from being demolished and the site from being cleared, the MP said.

Residents have aired concerns over the lack of action and Mr Opperman has now made enquires to Northumberland County Council’s legal department on their behalf to seek a resolution to the ongoing dispute.

"Local residents are right to be very concerned over Prudhoe Drill Hall", said MP Guy Opperman. "This derelict building needs to be demolished and removed to stop problems with unauthorised entry into the premises and concerns over falling debris. Local people are very concerned.‘’

Prudhoe Town Councillor Tracy Gilmore added: "I drive along Swalwell Close daily and it appals me that this building has been left in such a derelict state. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

"I first raised concerns when windows were damaged and again when roof tiles were falling. This building needs to be demolished before it deteriorates further and becomes even more unstable.

"We have school children walking past the building daily to three local schools. I hate to think what could happen with falling debris. The local residents are absolutely fed up of this dangerous eye sore.’’

In August, the Courant reported that Northumberland County Council was to approach HMRC to see what plans it had for the land on the town's Swallwell Close.

The site has been subject to a long-running dispute after concerns were raised in March 2019 over the safety of area. Work to knock down the site and replace it with six four-bedroom, three-storey houses stopped unexpectedly.

At a meeting of Tynedale Local Area Council at the time, county council planning officers explained the reason demolition had stopped was because the site’s owner had been “indefinitely detained and could not continue to work.”

The building was most recently used as a gym.

A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said: "The council is restricted in what action it can take because of criminal proceedings linked to the owner of the building.

"The council has and will continue to take any action it can to secure the building and ensure safety of residents."