End is in sight for village eyesore

The Willows site at Widdrington.
The Willows site at Widdrington.

DEMOLITION work has finally begun on a derelict pub in Widdrington Station, which attracted widespread concern including a petition to have it made safe.

At Monday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s Area Committee North, Coun Glen Sanderson, who represents the neighbouring Chevington with Longhorsley ward, paid tribute to residents for their dogged campaign for action.

“If it had not been for the local people continually raising this issue, we might still be struggling with this site,” he said.

North Area Development Manager Peter Rutherford said: “There is no indication at this stage how long it will take, but the good news is that contracts have been exchanged and we think it is a satisfactory outcome.”

An untidy land notice was served to the owners of the property, Till Services, last June, requiring roof repairs to be carried out within three months.

The notice did not require demolition of the pub, but the deadline for compliance passed and the council continued to work with the owners on the understanding that there was an intention to develop the site and demolish the building.

Till Services exchanged contracts with Dunelm Property Services and Two Castles Housing Association on January 21.

The council was also informed by Two Castles that the demolition contractor was booked to move onto the site on February 7.