Council leaders have made a u-turn over changes to a popular car park after resident's and several councillor's complaints.

Northumberland County Council announced changes to the car parking system at Wentworth in Hexham two months ago.

In the orginal plans, anyone needing to park all day would have to use the Bunker site off Alemouth Road in Hexham, which will have 250 long-term spaces.

After hearing many of the concerns, the council has announced that it will keep 100 long-stay spaces in the Wentworth car park.

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Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Local Services, said: “While all these new spaces are a great boost for the town, we needed to ensure we have the right balance of short, medium, and long-term parking.

“It was clear there was some concern locally about removing it all from Wentworth and it’s important we listen to feedback on these issues.

"Hopefully we’ve found the right balance and we’re looking forward to the new car park opening soon.”

Hexham Central with Acomb County Councillor Trevor Cessford said: “The parking study identified a need for additional parking and we're delighted to be providing it.

“I’ve been working with officers to secure the retention of 100 long-stay places in the Wentworth car park as well as a dedicated area for blue badge holders, which can also be used for their long-stay parking.

“The retention of 100 long-stay spaces in the Wentworth car park along with the provision of an additional 250 spaces at the new Alemouth Road site will help improve access to parking for people working or visiting the town for a full day.”

However, fears have been raised that residents living nearby would miss out on parking owing to increased demand from town centre developments such as the new Travelodge hotel.

Hexham East County Councillor Suzanne Fairless-Aitken said: “While I am delighted at the prospect of more free parking for the town, and understand the need for more medium term, visitor bays closer to the town to relieve congestion in the town-centre, I am concerned that the number of new long-term spaces are not actually more – especially with use by customers of the Travelodge.

"There are some residents in the immediate areas with no on-street or off-street parking at all who will not be provided with simple parking passes, and this concerns me. I have been reassured that these arrangements will be reviewed after 12 months."