PLANS are progressing for the future use of the former Hexham Middle School site – and work could potentially start by the end of this year.

Following public consultation earlier this year, a masterplan was commissioned by Northumberland County Council, which looks to retain the essence of the site and provide something for all ages of the community.

The former school site, on Wanless Lane, is owned by the county council and in September last year, it appointed IDP Architects to look at all options for utilising this vacant land.

Various public consultations were held to allow Hexham residents to share their opinions on what they wanted to see at the site.

READ MORE: Local council to take next steps of turning former school site into quality houses

The council said that more than 200 local residents and businesses attended the consultation events and gave feedback in-person or online during a recent consultation exercise and the comments were 'overwhelmingly positive'.

Proposals for the site incorporate a mixture of good quality housing, including affordable housing, bungalows, family homes and an extra care supported living scheme.

The 16-acre scheme will be linked to the town centre and incorporate areas of green space with footpaths and landscaped areas, improved access and a community garden.

More detailed design work is underway and the council is now looking to appoint planning consultants, with a view to a planning application being submitted in the late summer.

Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We know this site is important to the people of Hexham and it is very important to us too.

“There’s a lot of work going on within the council to bring this site back into use as quickly as we can and there has been a lot of interest from potential developers.

“A working group will manage the development of the site and initial infrastructure works could potentially start on site at the end of this year.

“It is a large and important site, and we want to get it right for the people of Hexham. “

Hexham Middle School moved to the existing Queen Elizabeth High School site in September 2021.