MAJOR plans to transform a park have been unanimously backed by councillors.
The Clavering Park Masterplan will see new fencing, trees, paths, a wetland area and a new BMX and skate park area built in a bid to breathe new life into the park, which is off Easington Road, in Hartlepool.
There will also be a new car park.
The scheme is a joint initiative between Hartlepool Borough Council and Groundwork North East and work is expected to get under way next year once all the funding is in place.
Speaking after the planning committee meeting, Leah Remington, of Groundwork North East, said there had been extensive consultation with residents, the Clavering Residents’ Association and the North Linear Park Steering Group.
Now planning permission has been granted, officers will approach companies for designs for the skatepark.
A report to the meeting said: “The proposed skate spot will be located on the eastern side of the site with the new car park to the north.
“The proposed wetland scrape will be sited to the west of the existing play area with new tree planting proposed in various areas of the site.”
Before the meeting there had been six letters of objection about noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour and traffic disruption.
But councillors backed the officer recommendation to approve the plans.
Labour councillor Paul Beck, who represents the Hart ward, spoke in favour of the plans.
He said the existing park facilities were popular with local children but said this would be a further boost and also improve health and safety as Clavering Park is bordered by the busy A179 and Easington Road.
Coun Beck, who usually sits on the committee but was speaking in his role as ward councillor, said: “As a qualified youth worker I believe that young people are our future and I want to see this project go ahead.
“I fully support this development.”
He added that BMX was a popular sport and the London 2012 Olympic Games had increased its profile and he said this new facility would be welcomed by town youngsters.
There will be a new car park off Baker Close at the northern end of the site and there will be boundary fencing along the length of the site with new trees planted.
The wetland scrape area will be near an existing play area while the skate park will be on the side nearest Easington Road.
A planning report said Cleveland Police’s crime prevention and architectural liaison officer believed the location of the skate park offers “improved natural surveillance” from Easington Road.
The report added: “While concerns relating to the provision of trees being sources for anti-social behaviour are acknowledged, it is noted that the number of trees proposed has been significantly reduced from the original proposals following the community consultation exercise.”