Accident blackspot fears over plans for 200 homes

The Southerly Elwick junction with the A19 looking North.

The Southerly Elwick junction with the A19 looking North.

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Councillors in a village close to an accident blackspot have told of their safety fears as plans for another major housing development are lodged.

Elwick Parish Council are concerned the proposals for more than 200 new homes, along with other developments in the pipeline on the edge of Hartlepool, will see more traffic go through the village to access the A19.

Children and parents alike are at risk due to the increasing volume of traffic

Minna West, Elwick Parish Council clerk

There have been several horror road smashes in recent years, including a number of deaths, at the crossing linking the A19 with Elwick, which has a 20mph speed limit.

Story Homes has submitted a planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council for a total of 208 homes on land south of Elwick Road.

It is one of a series of recent housing developments proposed in the area.

Minna West, clerk to Elwick Parish Council, said: “Elwick parish councillors’ concerns, in regard to any large development on the north west edge of the town, are that this will cause increased traffic through the village, which is already suffering badly from the sheer volume and speed of traffic using this route to access the A19, particularly south bound traffic.

“Minor country roads are not suitable for large volumes of traffic as they are used by farm vehicles, horses, cyclists and often walkers too.

“Too many drivers ignore both the speed restrictions and the weight limit on our road, which goes right past the village primary school; children and parents alike are at risk due to the increasing volume of traffic, some of it heavy goods vehicles, as are elderly or frail villagers trying to cross the road to get to our only shop.

“The parish council is not against development as such, we just want to ensure that traffic is diverted away from the small villages before any planning permissions are granted.”

In July 2014, the Highways Agency commissioned a study to look at the A19 at Elwick following the death of Scottish rugby player Keri Holdsworth in a road smash at the Dalton Piercy junction.

Two people were killed in a crash between two vehicles in May 2013 at the A19 southbound junction close to Elwick.

And in July 2011, a motorcyclist in his 70s died after being struck by a car at the same spot.

The latest application, which has not yet been determined, seeks permission for 153 homes and approval in principle for 55 self-build properties.

Supporting documents submitted on behalf of Story Homes say the development will offer a range of accommodation to meet the local need and the main access from Elwick Road will be designed to meet highway safety and give suitable visibility.

The design and access statement says: “The site offers excellent opportunities for the creation of a distinctive residential neighbourhood.”

Another document adds: “The Transport Assessment which accompanies the planning application for the site demonstrates that the magnitude of change in traffic flows associated with the proposals can be satisfactorily accommodated in relation to the capacity of the existing strategic and local road networks.”

Other housing developments proposed in the same area include 220 homes at Quarry Farm on the opposite side of Elwick Road submitted in December.

In October, final permission for 81 homes, also at Quarry Farm, was approved by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Fran Johnson, of the Park Residents Association, said: “The association would encourage all residents to take note of what these developments entail and to actively get involved with the consultation processes to ensure they make their views known and opinions heard.”

People can comment on the Story homes development at www.hartlepool.gov.uk by searching for the application reference H/2015/0551.