A FURTHER meeting to discuss plans to turn a former bakery into homes for drug addicts and ex-offenders is to be held this weekend.
The Foggy Furze Residents’ Association is holding the event in the Belle Vue Sports and Community Centre on Saturday, December 6, between 10am and 11am, with debate centred around the once-popular Anderson’s Bakery on the corner of Windermere Road and Ashgrove Avenue, in Hartlepool.
The meeting is expected to be packed out with people living and working on the estate who object to having the old baker’s turned into four one-bedroomed flats by the Developing Initiatives and Supporting Communities (disc) service.
The charity, which helps people to find jobs, as well as with issues including poverty, crime, addiction, homelessness and family breakdowns, has submitted plans to Hartlepool Borough Council.
But the proposal has left residents up in arms, with 70 written letters of objection submitted to the planning department, and a petition with almost 1,000 names.
A spokesman for the Foggy Furze Residents’ Association said: “Pretty much everyone around here is absolutely beside themselves on this one and they’re up in arms.
“We’ve already had two meetings already but we’ve called this meeting to see what further action we can take.
“There is a school nearby and everyone, especially the old people around here, is terrified of this going through.
“This is not just a threat to children, it’s a threat to everybody.
“We’re trying to get Iain Wright, the MP, to come along as well because we need as much support as we can get.”
He added: “We just have an awful feeling that this is going to get pushed through despite the opposition. Maybe if there were one, two, or even 10 objectors, but not the whole estate.”
Disc has previously said that as a social landlord with many years of experience in the sector, it is ideally placed to develop the unused property and bring it back into use for the good of the people of Hartlepool.
The two-storey bakery has been closed for a number of years and the plans for accommodation for four people would incorporate the adjoining house.
The petition is still available to sign in Jane Moore’s hairdressers, Smith and Associates dentist’s and the Co-op, all in Stockton Road, and also Belle Vue Social Club.