Please note that the Hexham Civic Society 2015 AGM will be held on Thursday 4th June at 6:30pm at the Salvation Army Hall, Market Street, Hexham

* all welcome *

Followed by presentation and discussion on Hexham Shopfronts

7:00pm (with Tea and Coffee)

Please come and let us know what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong and how we can do it better.

The following is a press release from Northumberland County Council regarding drop in event 2pm-7pm 26th May at the Beaumont Hotel, Hexham, regarding proposed relocation of the existing bus station and the redevelopment of the present bus station site:

New bus station designs to be revealed
15 May 2015

Residents and local organisations in West Northumberland will have their first chance to see proposed designs for Hexham’s new bus station at an event in the town on Tuesday 26th May.

The drop-in event will be held in the Beaumont Hotel in Beaumont Street, Hexham and be open to the public from 2pm until 7pm.

+3 Architecture will present proposed designs for the new bus station, which is to be at Loosing Hill.  They will also wish to gain feedback from members of the public on ideas for a small park/landscaped area to the west of the new bus station.

The new bus station will feature modern facilities for bus users including an enclosed waiting area, toilets and refreshment facilities.  Residents and local groups have already provided some feedback on what they would like to see in the design, and further comments will be welcomed at the event on 26th.

Cllr Ian Swithenbank, policy board member responsible for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council said: “We are very pleased to be able to present proposed designs for the new bus station.

“The architects have given careful consideration to how the new building will fit with the context and character of Hexham, and taken inspiration for the design from features around the town.

“I urge people to come along and take a look, and provide any feedback that they would like us to take into account as we progress with this development.”

Dysart Developments Ltd will also be at the event to provide an update on their proposals for development of the existing bus station area on Priestpopple.

The proposed regeneration project will provide homes and jobs and regenerate a tired and run down part of the town centre.  It will also form an important link to the Marks and Spencer store and to town centre parking.

It is anticipated that a planning application for the new bus station will be submitted in the summer, and once this is approved the council hopes that construction will begin before the end of the year.

The new bus station is due to open by Summer  2016, after which the existing site is due to be redeveloped as part of the regeneration project.

Dysart Developments will be carrying out further pre-planning consultation on their proposals and also expect to submit a planning application during the summer months.

Follow this link to find out more about the bus station project:


Newsletter Draft Spring 2015.qxdCivic Society Members should now be receiving their copies of the new Spring 2015 HCS Newsletter. With updates on the proposed ‘Great Council Buildings Sell-Off’; the scrapping of the West Area Planning Committee and the centralisation of planning decisions to Morpeth; Hexham Shopfronts; Planning and more.


The previous Autumn 2014 edition of the newsletter can now be downloaded free from here –  HCS Newsletter Autumn 2014.


As reported in the local and National Press, the draft Durham Local Plan has come under fire by its Planning Inspector over ambitious growth scnarios that have echoes in Northumberlands proposals: Inspector-savages-durham-local-plan (paste Inspector savages Durham local plan  into google for unrestricted article).

Planning Resource Magazine states that ‘In his interim findings on the draft document, inspector Harold Stephens was critical of many of its key aspects.

The letter said that the plan’s “reliance on high employment growth and associated high levels of in-migration that is built into the preferred economic scenario represents an unacceptable risk which I cannot support on the basis of the evidence before me”.

As such, he added, “it brings into question whether there would be a potential degree of housing over-provision derived from this element of the jobs target”.

The inspector said a “more cautious jobs growth target, reducing the reliance on in-migration, would be a more realistic and deliverable scenario that would reduce the evident risk that the planned level of housing might well be forthcoming but the anticipated jobs may not”.

The letter also said that the council’s approach to focus development in and adjacent to the City of Durham “necessitates huge releases of green belt land around the city, which I cannot support”.

Planning Resource Magazine, 18 February 2015 by Michael Donnelly

With the period for public comments having just closed on the Northumberland Local Plan, with its vision of housing growth in excess of that predicted by the Office of National Statistics, and consequent release of Green Belt land to accommodate this aspiration, it will be intersting to see what view of the Northumberland Inspector will have. HCS objected to the deletion of Green Belt at Hexham – in particular the removal of the large Shaws Farm site from the present Green Belt boundary.

The story is also covered in the Newcastle Journal here.

The public has just two days left to comment on the Northumberland Core Strategy Full Draft Plan:

The deadline is 11th February 2015. See article below re risk to Hexham Green Belt arising from the Strategy – in particular the proposed deletion of the Green Belt at Shaw’s Farm (West End)  to be ‘safeguarded land’ i.e. safeguarded for future development.

HCS will be objecting to the proposed deletion, along with the Hexham Green Belt Action Group.

Email NCC at: to make your views known.

The Core Strategy Full Draft Plan for Northumberland  will be available for you to view and comment between the following dates:

Start date: 12/12/14 00:00

End date: 11/02/15 23:59

The plan can be viewed here:

In Hexham several areas of land presently designated as Greenbelt is identified for deletion and allocation as housing sites, including further ribbon development at the east end of the town. A further large swathe of land ‘Shaw’s Farm’ at the west end of Hexham is identified for designation as ‘safeguarded’ land – that is, land protected from development until the end of the plan period (2031) but thereafter to be developed for housing/mixed use.

Extract from Draft Plan showing proposed deletion of greenbelt (buff and orange) - Crown Copyright.

Extract from Draft Plan showing proposed deletion of greenbelt (buff and dark orange) – Crown Copyright.

This land is presently protected by a Greenbelt designation which the draft plan proposes to delete. HCS objected to the initial draft and wished to see the greenbelt maintained as at present to preserve the setting of Hexham and to focus development on brownfield sites within the town. We felt that the ‘aspirational’ population targets desired by the County Council were excessive. HCS will be considering its own view and formulating a full response in the New Year. As ever, we would welcome the views and input of our members on this issue.

‘Drop in’ events with planning officers present will take place across Northumberland in the New Year. In Hexham these events will be: Thursday 8th January 1pm – 7.30pm Hexham Prospect House and on Saturday 24th January 10am – 2pm Hexham Prospect House.

To read online and comment:


Address: Planning and Housing Policy Team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF. Telephone 0845 600 6400


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