DEMOLITION of derelict houses is set to start next year after councillors gave the go-ahead for a £2.2 million housing regeneration scheme.
The redevelopment of the Carr and Hopps Street area is described as the last piece in the jigsaw of housing regeneration in Hartlepool town centre.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee voted unanimously for demolition after hearing the council has acquired most of the properties.
A programme of selective demolition is set to begin early next year.
Further work is also to be carried out to explore options for a replacement housing scheme.
Committee chairman Councillor Robbie Payne said: “I want to reassure residents in the surrounding area whose lives have been blighted by delays in this scheme, that as a council we will do all we can to move this scheme forward as quickly as possible.
“We now eagerly await the start of demolition work which will represent a major milestone in completing the redevelopment of this site.”
Nearby residents called on the council to start demolition as soon as possible saying the area is a hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour.
Hartlepool received £2 million Government funding for the regeneration project.
Damien Wilson, assistant director for regeneration, said: “We have already seen how successful the nearby Headway and Alexandra Square regeneration schemes have proved and the Carr/Hopps Street redevelopment is the last piece in the jigsaw of incremental housing regeneration in the town centre.”
Any properties that stay in private ownership could be incorporated into a new housing scheme and owners have been given more time until December 24 to sell to the council.