Concerns remain as plans made for future

Horsdonside in Wooler
Horsdonside in Wooler

While concerns remain about the closure of a sheltered housing unit, the community in Wooler is working to solve the wider housing issue.

A working group, made up of various stakeholders including the parish council, was set up following the April announcement that Horsdonside is to close.

While there was no way of avoiding this, the focus has now shifted to looking at the bigger picture, and the dramatic need for housing in Glendale.

At Monday night’s meeting of the parish council, chairman Coun Alfreda Hindmarsh said that representatives from Abbeyfield had visited to look around and had showed some interest in Wooler.

“At the moment, this is in its infancy,” she added.

Coun Murray also told members about the housing needs assessment which the county council is planning to carry out, as reported in the Gazette last week, which will hopefully be completed by January next year.

“There will be money available once they see what the situation is,” he said, pointing out possible areas of land for building at the Martins and the Horsdonside site itself, alongside various private plots.

But he said that this didn’t help those who were losing their homes in Horsdonside now.

“There was only one person who said they didn’t mind moving out of Wooler,” he said.

“We now have five who have moved out of Wooler, or are in the process of moving out of Wooler.

“To be able to house them in Wooler, people will have to go into housing that isn’t fit for their purpose, eg. with stairs or a garden.

“But because of this county initiative, I hope in two years’ time we might have fit-for-purpose housing.”

The parish council received a response to its formal letter of complaint to Berwick Borough Housing.