Old drill hall

Update 30/1/21

The legal proceedings which were due to take place in December 2020 have been adjourned until late March 2021.

NCC Legal advice continues to be that nothing can be progressed until the legal matters are finalised.


Permission has been granted for better fencing around the site.

A NCC legal team and NCC officers at a high level are progressing what continues to be a very complicated issue.

We sympathise with residents living close to the site and wish to reassure them that we are pushing as hard as practicable for a solution.

Update 20/9/19

The council are legally required to serve notice on the owner before they can undertake any work, this has proven difficult as he is in prison.
Without serving notice on the owner the council restricts its ability to recover its costs.
In light of the serious nature of the issue NCC has decided to seek emergency powers to carry out works which means that they do not have to serve papers on the owner.
As yet we are not clear on what works they intend to carry out, as soon as this is known we will advise the public.
The police have agreed to give extra attention to the area although they say they have not had any reports of incidents there for some time.
If residents witness any incidents or other causes of concern relating to the building they are asked to contact the Police or other appropriate authority, and also inform us.
The site is inspected on a regular basis by building experts.

Update 20th August 2019

We remain in contact with NCC officers at the highest level and Guy Opperman MP.

The Health & Safety executive can not take any action as the site is no longer a workplace .

The NCC legal team continue to work with Northumbria Police.

Residents will appreciate that this is a complexed legal matter,

NCC’s major concern is that of public safety.

The site is checked by experts on a regular basis.

To help with ensuring public safety the fencing will be improved and certain pieces of brick work will be removed.

As this is private property NCC can not just enter it nor take control of it, but can make sure the property is safe.

The long term future of the site is to be determined, residents can be assured that NCC wants to progress this matter as quickly as possible but the legal process will take a long time, especially with the owner not co operating / unavailable.

Update 10/7/19 

See Hexham Courant report – Click here

Update 13/6/19

“All enforcement actions are being explored, NCC are engaging with Northumbria Police in respect of the Proceeds of Crime order that applies to the site.  There is ongoing monitoring now in place to ensure safety, the wish of NCC is to demolish the remaining structure and clear the site.  Costs for demolition are being obtained but there is an added issue with electricity cables that cross the site that will add to the cost.

We will keep you posted as things progress, please feel free to share this information with you neighbours.  We are as keen as you to resolve this but unfortunately legal process takes time, as of today NCC’s legal department have been in contact with Northumbria Police and await a response, unfortunately such matters are dealt with centrally by the police and therefore don’t happen as quickly as we would like.”

UPDATE 15/3/19

HSE have been advised but as this is not an active site they will not take any further action.

NCC Planning enforcement are making enquiries.

NCC Building Inspector has visited the site and advised about ebsuring the site is safe.

NCC Contractors have secured the site.

The Owner of the site has been identified and located, but difficulties in dealing with him have been encountered.

Enquiries are continuing.

UPDATE 15/3/19
It is clear that work has now stopped on the site.

NCC have now agreed to send contractors to secure the site on H & S grounds.

Whilst the site owner & their contractors are being located and spoken to.

UPDATE 14/3/19

Work on the Old Drill Hall in Swalwell Close seems to have stalled.

Following complaints from residents about safety issues and debris being blown about we have again contacted the Planning Department at NCC to see what action can be taken.

In light of the safety issues and reports of children playing on the site we have contacted the Health and Safety Executive who have responsibility for construction site safety.

And also the Police.

We will provide additional info as soon as we have it.

Parents please take measures to discourage your Children from playing there.