Plans to sell off a Northumberland town’s bus station for housing have come under fire from the local MP.
Hexham Conservative Guy Opperman has hit out at Labour leaders on Northumberland County Council over its latest vision for the site.
He has also criticised authority bosses for proposing a number of “grand schemes” for the site, only to abandon them in the latest project.
In February last year, a 2,000-name petition demanding the bus station remain where it is was handed in to the council.
Yet the council is preparing a report to its policy board meeting on February 11 recommending consultation begin on the sale of the bus station to property developer Dysart, which owns some property around the site.
The company would develop flats on the site with bus stops to be created on Priestpopple.
Mr Opperman last night said: “I am bitterly disappointed the grand schemes mooted by the council’s Labour leadership have now been abandoned and the town’s campaign for a proper site have been dashed.
“Now it has been revealed we will be getting no bus station at all as the council is flogging it off.
“On the plans I have seen the drawings are entitled the ‘do minimum’ solution and I couldn’t put it better myself.
“After all the headlines, all the promises and grand schemes it looks like we will be getting a row of perspex clad bays on Priestpopple.
“The Labour council in Morpeth must explain to local people in Hexham why there is a huge gap between their many public commitments on the future of our bus station and what is the reality.
“It will be a real shock to local people to hear that after all Labour have promised this is what we have ended up with.”
Council leader Grant Davey responded: “Residents in Hexham will note that their MP is quick to make comment about the county council but silent on his government’s decision to slash £130m from the county budget in the run-up to the next general election.
“The proposals for alternative bus provision into Hexham town centre are one of the range of measures designed to help local businesses and residents who’ve been dealing with a cost of living crisis created by the government their MP supports.”