Hexham Market Place regeneration. Design idea one from Sustrans.

Hexham Market Place designs drawn up by Sustrans under an initiative supported by Hexham Town Council and Northumberland County Council will be displayed in Hexham this Saturday 24th and also on 1st July.

Hexham Civic Society has long campaigned for improvements to the Market Place although we recognise that finding a mutually agreeable solution is difficult, given the competing demands of parking, circulation, pedestrian use and

Hexham Market Place regeneration. Design idea two from Sustrans.

the role of the Market Place as a historic area in its own right and as the setting for our fabulous Hexham Abbey and other important listed  and historic buildings.

With twelve initial ideas now whittled down to 4, residents, workers and visitors can now have further say.

The proposals range from renovating the existing space to pedestrianising the whole area.

Design one is described as a renovation of

Hexham Market Place regeneration. Design idea three from Sustrans.

the Market Place and would involve the installation of ‘gateways’ that serve as entrances.

Moving the entrance to the Market Place car parking spaces to allow for improved access for visitors arriving from Hallgate via the Moot Hall, along with new crossing points, is also suggested.

The second design suggests rearranging the parking, reprioritising the junction and pedestrianising Hallstile Bank. Moving the car parking to the roadside is

Hexham Market Place regeneration. Design idea four from Sustrans.

also suggested to allow for a permanent market space and parking bays that would not need to be suspended on market days.

The third idea pedestrianises Hallstile Bank and Market Street but maintains Market Place parking.

And, finally, the fourth suggestion fully pedestrianises the Market Place and surrounding streets, leaving the town centre free for use during public events, but maintaining access and loading arrangements for homes and businesses.

Martin Podevyn, senior urban designer at Sustrans said: “We have listened to the residents and visitors of Hexham and captured as much information as we can on how people use the streets in and around the Market Place.

“We are thrilled at the amount of feedback that the website generated. There was some excellent dialogue and valuable information about the kinds of changes that people would like to see.”

The additional feedback gathered in the latest phase will be worked into the proposals over the coming months before a preferred design is drawn up and put to the public.

The plans can be viewed in detail on the project website at hexhammarketplace.stickyworld.com and designers will be attending market days in Hexham and hosting stalls on June 24 and July 1.

The Hexham Courant report on the scheme can be viewed here.




Hexham Market Place – Regeneration Drop in Event Thursday 22nd September 15:00-20:00 Trinity Methodist Church

mkt-pl-bHexham Town Council & Northumberland County Council have asked sustainable transport charity Sustrans to develop some possible options for the regeneration of Hexham Market Place.

Sustrans works with local people to design unique, memorable places that are responsive to their needs. Sustrans wants to know what you think about Hexham Market Place and what you’d like to see.

They would like to invite you to contribute to the design process:

Public Meeting (drop-in)

Thursday 22nd September

Trinity Methodist Church, Beaumont St, Hexham NE46 3LS

3pm – 8pm

If you can’t make the event there is a website for you to leave your ideas and comments on:



Hexham Civic Society supports this initiative and encourages as many members as possible to make their views known.

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:



A Different Class

MA Student’s ideas for greenfield and brownfield sites in Hexham

– Former Hexham Union Workhouse & Craneshaugh Greenfield Housing site

1st – 6th September 2014

Scott’s Cafe, Forum Cinema, Hexham

Following the approval of 122 new houses on the greenfield housing site at Craneshaugh, and the continued potential of the ‘brownfield’ former Hexham workhouse site on Dean Avenue, MA students at the University of Newcastle have looked afresh at both sites – presenting design concepts that challenge our expectations of how these important sites should be delivered. While the Craneshaugh site is already approved for housing following a planning application in 2013, it will be interesting to see what alternative concepts for a large greenfield site could look like.

You are cordially invited to visit the exhibition throughout its week. We are also holding a presentation and discussion of the work on Friday 5th September at 3pm where MA Urban Design Course Tutor Georgia Giannopoulou will summarise the student’s output and discuss the potential of these important sites.

Presentation and Refreshments

3pm Friday 5th September,

Scott’s Cafe, Hexham

free entry

Summer 2014 cover thumbThe summer HCS newsletter is out this week and members will be receiving their copies through their doors very soon. This month we focus on the execution of the Rickerby/Homebase scheme at Hexham Goods Yard and also on the critically important McCarthy and Stone ‘Tower of Mabel’. This scheme, despite the condemnation of the scale and design by NCCs own conservation staff, is nonetheless recommended for approval by the case officer, and is due to be assessed (rubber stamped?) by the West Area Planning Committee at Prospect House, Hexham, at 18:00 on Wednesday 21st May.

HCS will be speaking against the scheme on design grounds – in particular focusing on the unnecessary relocation of the present footpath to a new alignment which we feel will be certain to become an anti-social hotspot. In addition, the relocation necessitates closure of this key footpath for at least a year.

We want to see a version of the scheme on this site, but with a less intrusive massing, more retention of existing trees, improved materials and retention of the present footpath alignment. In short, we hope that Committee will tell the applicant to go back to the drawing board.

If you have views on this scheme please make them known to the planning committee and/or the case officer.

The Spring edition of the newsletter is available to download free from here: HCS Newsletter Winter Spring 2014 email Version

West Area Planning Gilesgate Pool13/02291/CON and 13/02289/FUL

STOP PRESS: The Gilesgate Swimming Baths ‘McCarthy and Stone’ apartment scheme has apparently been pulled from the agenda for Planning Committee 16/04/14. This is apparently due to procedural problems with notifications.

It is possible that it will eventually come to committee 21st May 2014. HCS hopes that the opportunity will be taken by the developers to withdraw the present proposal and address the concerns of the Conservation Officer, English Heritage, HCS and others who have offered their constructive criticism on the proposal.

Rob Cowan Copyright Cartoon

Copyright Rob Cowan

Proposed Haugh Lane Elevation Image C Planning Bureau Ltd

Proposed Haugh Lane Elevation Image C Planning Bureau Ltd

Hexham Civic Society is sad to report that the McCarthy and Stone  retirement complex planned for the site of the former Henry Bell Wool Warehouse, and latterly Gilesgate baths in Hexham is set for approval this coming Wednesday. Castigated as the ‘Tower of Mabel’ by HCS, we support the proposed use of the site but consider the design wholly inappropriate.

Despite objections from a diverse range of opponents including the County Council Conservation Officer, English Heritage, Hexham Civic Society, numerous individuals and Hexham Town Council, planning officers will recommend that West Area Planning Committee approve the seven storey towers.

Proposed Gilesgate Elevation Image C Planning Bureau Ltd

Proposed Gilesgate Elevation Image C Planning Bureau Ltd

First mooted by the developers in 2012 at pre-application meetings, the scheme has sadly not developed in any meaningful way and HCS views it as a gross overdevelopment of this sensitive Conservation Area site, in close proximity to a number of important listed buildings and Hexham’s unique Grade I listed Abbey. With a cheap and cheerful materials palate including PVCu windows, rubber membrane roofing, render and fake stone we do not believe that the design has taken account of the unique nature of the site. HCS has continually sought to engage with the developers to constructively suggest how the design can be moderated and made appropriate to its setting but sadly without success.

Our hopes are now with the members of the West Area Planning Committee who we are urging not to approve the scheme in its present form. The Committee will review the scheme at 18:00 on Wednesday 16th April at  Prospect House Hexham and a number of objectors are expected to make their views known.

Planning References are NCC 13/02289/FUL AND 13/02291/CON for development at the former Gilesgate swimming pool site and Haugh Lane, Hexham. Any comments you wish to make can be sent to the west area planning office at:- west.planning@northumberland.gov.uk  FAO Mr G Robbie, or via the Council’s planning web-site. A report in the Newcastle Journal can be viewed here.