Concerns over plans

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 22 new houses in a village on the outskirts of Hartlepool will go before planners next week.

Developer Yuill Homes has submitted plans to Hartlepool Borough Council to build the new houses on a field next to the Raby Arms pub, in Front Street, Hart Village.

Dozens of residents have objected to the plans, while the Hartlepool Civic Society and Hart Parish Council has also expressed “grave concerns”.

Councillors sitting on the local authority’s planning committee are due to meet next Wednesday to discuss the proposal.

The plans have angered the local community and ahead of the meeting, officers have received 25 letters of objection plus a petition containing four names.

Concerns centre around an increase in traffic, fears that the village will “lose its appeal”, flooding, road safety and loss of the field and green belt land.

There is also concern that the council’s planning policy allocates the site for 15 houses yet the application is for 22.

Residents also believe the proposed development is “out of keeping” with the village and that Hart should remain a village and not become an “estate”.

Council papers show that all but two of the new houses will be detached, with two of them being semi-detached houses.

Planning chiefs are yet to make a recommendation ahead of the meeting.

Representations submitted by the civic society said: “The existing village environment must be preserved.

“The Borough Council publicises its villages as an asset. We would urge the council to refuse this application.”

Meanwhile, Hart Parish Council added: “The housing designs proposed are quite suited to a large urban estate but certainly not within a rural location such as Hart.”

A report to the meeting said: “The application seeks consent for the erection of 22 dwellings, together with associated road access, landscaping and drainage infrastructure.

“All but two of the dwellings proposed are detached.

“Two semi-detached houses are proposed and will be of an affordable tenure.”

Planning officers say the site layout has been amended since the application was originally submitted after concerns were raised by officers about the separation distances, the layout and parking.

The meeting is being held at the council’s Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, on Wednesday, April 3, at 10am.