THE DEMOLITION of Prudhoe’s historic Drill Hall to make way for new housing has been met with unease.

A planning application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council, seeking permission to replace the building with a terrace of six four-bedroomed homes.

The Territorial Army Drill Hall on Swalwell Close dates back to 1914 and is currently empty. Its most recent use was as a gym.

The application has been submitted by a Mr Miller of MGM House in Newburn, the home of MGM Precision Engineering.

Access will be from Swallwell Close, which is surrounded by residential streets such as St Cuthberts Close and Fair View.

Though each property will come with one off-road parking space the consultee response from Northumberland County Council’s highways department suggests a nearby car park is used.

In the document, highways development management technician, Sarah-Jane Nicholl, confirmed that the principle of the development is acceptable in highways terms.

She added: “There is free public car parking available 120 metres from the site.”

However, this suggestion has not found favour with Prudhoe Town Council, which has lodged an objection.

In its objection the council considers that the development provides inadequate car parking provision for four-bedroom properties.

The application was discussed at the latest meeting of the council’s planning and works committee.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun. Eileen Burt said: “The suggested use of the public car park is inappropriate because that’s already full most of the time.”

Coun. Glenn Simpson added that the surrounding streets, including Highfield Lane, were already overwhelmed with traffic.

He said: “We want to encourage parents to leave their cars in car parks and walk from there to school.

“But if these car parks are used by residential properties that’s not going to happen.”

Only one objection has been lodged by a nearby resident. However seven neutral comments note concerns for parking management, a lack of affordable housing and the proximity of building works.

The application is expected to be decided using delegated powers.