Housing plans for former Cornhill School

Cornhill School.
Cornhill School.

A Northumberland housing group is preparing plans to extend its portfolio in Cornhill despite concerns amongst the village’s residents.

At a drop-in session last Thursday, residents were informed of Four Housing’s plans for the site of the former Cornhill School, which closed last year.

Cornhill Parish Council had expressed concern when the site was put on the market earlier this year.

In particular it worried houses might be built on the site, with the school no longer being there to support them.

Building on the site, many residents feel, breaks the ‘mothballing’ that they understood the site to be under since its closure.

But Cornhill Parish Councillor David Buckle attended the drop-in, and explained: “The idea of ‘mothballing’ the school was only ever mentioned in a meeting, by Councillor Dougie Watkin.

“It was never more than that, only a suggestion.”

He went on: “What I saw at the drop-in were just sketch plans, two or three different ideas.”

Dawn Keightley, group director of operations at Four Housing said: “We recently held a consultation event with residents of Cornhill and the neighbouring parishes to explore the need for new affordable homes. This was well attended and we would like to thank everyone who came along to share their views.

“In addition to the drop-in session we issued 600 postal surveys to Cornhill and neighbouring residents.”

Four Housing currently owns and manages 21 affordable homes in Cornhill and their data suggests that there is a need for additional two bedroom houses.

Ms Keightley stressed: “Once the survey results are returned and analysed, they will be used to determine the need for new affordable homes in the community.

“They will also be used to establish the types of properties that are in most demand, whether this is bungalows for older people or family homes.”