THE number of vacant homes and second homes across Tynedale has been revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows how many empty homes there are in various Tynedale areas, along with how many holiday homes are within each.

Vacant dwellings are identified by the ONS as having no usual residents, no indication of being used as a second home and not inhabited by short-term residents. 

These vacant homes are mainly privately-owned or belong to social housing providers. 

Northumberland County Council is highlighting the work taking place to address the problem of empty properties in the county with National Empty Homes Week.

The initiative, which started last year, will take place from February 27-March 5.

According to the ONS data, Haydon Bridge and Allendale have the highest proportion of empty homes, with 310 vacant houses and 55 second homes.

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Haltwhistle and Bardon Mill follow behind with 285 vacant homes and 35 second homes.

Hexham and Acomb's total reaches 270 vacant properties and 20 second homes.

Northumberland County Council announced in March 2023 that a masterplan would be commissioned to determine the future of the old Hexham Middle School site, however, there has been no decision yet. Many residents and community groups have shared ideas including housing and a community hub for the site.

READ MORE: The 'Pedestrian Pound' key to developing former middle school

READ MORE: Housing need addressed by community team

Wylam and Ovingham has the lowest numbers, with just 95 vacant homes and 10 second homes.

The county council is appealing to anyone who owns or knows of a long-term empty property to get in touch. 

Northumberland County Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for looking after the environment said: "These figures may appear high at first glance but they need to be looked at in detail as the circumstances as to why each property is empty can vary.

"The figures include properties that are only vacant for a short period of time such as those up for sale or for let. They include second homes and furnished empty properties and they also include some social housing. These properties could be in the process of being re-let, be situated in hard-to-let areas, or the social housing provider may have future plans for the properties and so they are being kept empty pending these plans.    

"The council has a good track record of working with empty homeowners, offering a range of assistance and incentives to help them to bring their properties back into residential use. 

"Since 2015 we have helped the owners of over 750 long-term empty properties to bring them back into residential use, mainly in the private rented sector, making sure that Northumberland has more homes available for its residents. 

"We know there is still more work that needs to be done and we will be continuing to work closely with landlords and owners to identify other properties where we can offer help to provide these homes with a new lease of life."

Derek Kennedy, mayor of Hexham, said: "270 homes is a large volume of houses sitting idle that could be used as there is a high demand in Hexham for housing. Even if just half of those houses were brought back into use, that would be a huge help towards the housing shortage we have without needing to build more housing."

County Cllr Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, said: "The number of homes vacant on that date in Prudhoe appears high, but initial thoughts are that the 10 houses at The Haven were empty with the older ones being demolished and modern homes constructed. In addition, the Cottier Grange estate is under construction with many properties standing empty awaiting purchasers signing legal documents.

"I am aware of several properties going through the probate process and others remaining empty due to family disagreements.

"I continue to work closely with social housing providers to encourage them to carry out modernisation or major repairs as quickly as practicable when properties are vacated, sometimes this can take weeks.

"Prudhoe is extremely popular with house hunters as the town boasts excellent schools and GP services, wonderful parks and open countryside, businesses and good employment," he added.

If you own an empty property or know of one in your area, contact the council's private sector housing team on 0345 600 6400 or email

A number of neighbourhood plans in Northumberland restrict the occupation of new dwellings, so they can only be occupied as a ‘principal residence’.

A policy in the new Local Plan will extend this restriction to other parishes across the county where more than 20 per cent of dwellings are not used as someone's main home.