The saga of the proposed McCarthy and Stone 7 storey residential development proposed for the site of the former baths at Gilesgate grinds on. In order to achieve their desired scheme the applicants need to relocate the present footpath that crosses the site, linking Gilesgate to Haugh Lane.
The footpath (ref Footpath 52) is now the subject of an NCC application to make a ‘Diversion Order’. Hexham Civic Society believes that while the proposed use of the site is acceptable, the proposed development is poorly designed and out of scale with its surroundings. See our report on the ‘Tower of Mabel’ here. We believe that a better scheme could be achieved if the footpath were left more or less where it is at present and improved. This would allow the trees on the site proposed for felling to be retained, and would avoid the narrow and potentially dangerous ginnel that the applicants wish to replace the present path with.
The proposed path lacks the good levels of visibility that the present route achieves and will risk ‘designing in crime’ rather than designing it out. We think that a tight ginnel with poor overlooking and a set of steep steps will invite anti social behavior. It will also fail to connect to the existing pelican crossing on Haugh Lane which will make pedestrians more likely to risk not using the lights to cross the road (the crossing is unlikely to be able to be relocated due to proximity to road junctions). We would like to see McCarthy and Stone reconsider the entirety of their proposal and to come up with a scheme appropriate to Hexham Conservation Area which all residents can support.
If you have a view on this proposal please make it known to the Northumberland County Council Definitive Map Officer Mr Alex Bell . Mr Bell can be contacted by email at Alex.Bell@northumberland.gov.uk or in writing at : Alex Bell (Definitive Map Officer – Sustainable Transport), Local Services Group, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. Telephone: 01670 624133
At its meeting on Monday 3rd March Hexham Town Council objected to the proposed footpath diversion, primarly citing safety concerns over the proposed new arrangement.