Discussions continue over future of former school site in Wooler

Parish councillors want their voice to be heard as plans for the former Wooler First School site are developed.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 5:27 pm
The former Wooler First School site.

The site has been disused since the first school moved to a shared site with Glendale Middle School on Brewery Road in 2015.

It came up for discussion after Wooler Parish Council received a letter from Peter Greenwood, who had been interested in opening a crematorium on the site.

He revealed that Northumberland County Council had refused to sell the site to him and asked the parish council to investigate.

Chairman Mark Mather explained: “I got in touch with the county council and the site is currently not for sale. If the site was to be sold, there would have to be a transparent tendering process which Mr Greenwood would have to go through if he wanted to.

“They are looking at it as a future housing site and said other agencies are involved.

“I did express disappointment that a plan is being built with other agencies and the parish council was not aware or had a chance to feed into it.

“It’s an integral site to Wooler and I think we should be given the opportunity to feed our views in and those of the public.

“We are getting another 100 homes in Wooler with the two building developments which are going to happen so I questioned whether we needed another one.

“My personal view, if we did need another, is that it should be a residential area for the elderly with one or two bedroom bungalows with some sort of care provision where people would still have some independence.”

Coun Angus Murray expressed concerns about the impact of further housing on traffic in the town centre.

The parish council said it would try to organise a meeting as soon as possible with various stakeholders to discuss it further.

“The parish council wants to be part of the decision-making board and privy to the information being gathered,” said Coun Mather.

A county council spokesperson said: "We have liaised with the parish council about the future of this site, and we will be arranging a meeting in the near future in order to continue discussions."