NEGOTIATIONS are underway between several organisations to transform an 'eyesore' of the town.

Hexham's old bus station in the centre of town is currently owned by Dysart Developments, which purchased it after the opening of the replacement bus station in 2016.

It was then listed on Savills estate agents' website where it remains for sale after Dysart's purchase, several years later. The price is available 'on application', but has been previously listed for £1.5m.

READ MORE: Council's plea for help to clean-up 'bomb site' bus station: 'It's embarrassing'

Plans to develop the site never materialised and its development has been an ongoing subject of debate.

The town council has been keen to take the site back into public ownership to push for the station's redevelopment.

Hexham's Mayor Derek Kennedy said the council is trying to seek an arrangement between Northumberland County Council and Dysart.

He said: "Hexham Town Council continues to press the Northumberland County Council to come to some arrangement with Dysart, we’ve waited years for this area to be developed.

"I’m aware that a developer is talking to Dysart and we await to see if a conclusion can be arrived at," he added.

Hexham residents shared their opinions on what the site could become, with options including:

a tourism information office;

a community space;

or even a car park to attract people from rural areas.

Cllr Kennedy added: "After the successful achievement of the Heritage Zone the high street is looking good and trade appears to be healthy. We welcome The Range and the old bus station is the key piece that needs to be delivered."

Town council members favoured passing a motion at a council meeting in February, calling on Northumberland County Council to serve a Section 215 notice on Dysart.

This notice would ask Dysart to improve the site and its land, as the council has previously stated the 'eyesore' is 'impinging' on the amenities of the local area.

Northumberland County Council stated at the time it was looking to ensure a 'redevelopment scheme' for the site and work with Dysart to achieve a sustainable long-term future.

“While the site is currently under the private ownership of Dysart, the county council is supportive of its redevelopment and is in regular discussions with the owner. As soon as a planning application is submitted to redevelop the site we will consult with the wider community," a council spokesperson said.

Town and county councillor for Hexham East, Suzanne Fairless-Aitken, said: "I would certainly like to see [the station] used as a space and not the eyesore it is at the moment. We are at crucial stages of negotiations on it at the moment, so it's not up to us but what developers might put there to fit local needs.

"However, if these talks fall through, rest assured we will be back with a demand for the Section 215 notice to be served or a market valuation for the site so we could buy it back."

Dysart commented in December that it was trying to 'find a development option that would be both viable and acceptable in planning terms'.

It also said it had received 'positive' interest from potential purchasers for the bus station site, and that discussions were 'ongoing'.

Dysart was contacted for comment.