Concerns over future of two Wooler sites

Wooler First School moved onto the Glendale Middle School, freeing up its former site.
Wooler First School moved onto the Glendale Middle School, freeing up its former site.

There are two sites in Wooler which parish councillors want to see used for the good of the community – but the signs aren’t good.

At the December meeting, it was reported that discussions were ongoing with the county council over the future of the old Glendale School farm site with the aim of using it as a base for the Scouts.

Coun Mark Mather said: “This field has been empty for years, yet as soon as we made our plans public, somebody put in a bid to buy it. It is frustrating.

“We are trying to get an asset transfer for the community and we should write to Grant Davey (council leader) and Steve Mason (council chief executive) for support.”

However, at Monday’s meeting, the clerk reported that it would be difficult to meet the criteria for a community asset transfer, as was the case with the old police station and the possibility of a community right to buy.

Coun Mather updated members to say that the site was not going to be advertised for sale until February, so suggested getting a small meeting together to thrash out proposals, such as expanding the use from the Scouts to a number of community groups.

He also said that there is a small section of field at the back separated by a fence and a request could be made for this smaller site to be set aside while the rest of the plot is sold.

It was also pointed out at the meeting that the site is the only bit of Wooler which falls within the area eligible to bid for grants from the Barmoor windfarm community fund.

Meanwhile, parish and county councillor Anthony Murray is to ask the county council at its meeting in February about the money from the sale of the first-school site, which has been vacant following the first school’s move to the Glendale Middle School site, being ring-fenced for projects in Wooler.

However, he said that it has already been indicated to him that any money from land sales goes into a central pot for Northumberland.