Decision due on controversial housing developments for Hartlepool

The entrance to one of the sites proposed for housing.
The entrance to one of the sites proposed for housing.

CONTROVERSIAL plans for around 200 new houses on two sites in Hartlepool are set to be decided next week.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee will meet again to hear plans for new housing estates at Tunstall Farm, off Valley Drive, for 110 houses and another estate at nearby Quarry Farm, off Elwick Road, for 81 houses.

Councillors met earlier this month but the applications had to be deferred because the right officers weren’t available to answer councillor’s flooding concerns.

Both applications were recommended for approval but it never got to that stage because when councillors raised concerns over flooding issues in Valley Drive – an hour into the discussion – it turned out there was nobody available from the council to answer the questions because the relevant engineer was on a pre-planned holiday.

Crucially, the Environment Agency (EA), who had submitted a report with no objections, had not sent a representative to the meeting which meant councillors couldn’t have their questions answered.

Labour councillor Rob Cook, who chairs the committee, had to apologise to the developers and residents who attended, adding the EA were under no obligation to send a representative to the council meeting.

But now councillors are set to meet again to hear the plans, which have been strongly objected to by hundreds of concerned residents.

Taylor Wimpey had lodged the plans for Tunstall Farm and there have been 171 objections from residents ahead of the meeting.

A planning report said: “In respect to the drainage issues HBC engineering consultancy have advised that their comments, of no objections, stand even when the application is considered with the other applications.”

The second application – which has received 221 objections – was for 81 homes on land at Quarry Farm.

Again a planning report said HBC engineering consultancy have advised their comments of no objections stand.

Northumbrian Water have confirmed that they have no concerns regarding this proposal along with the other applications. The plans for Tunstall Farm and Quarry Farm are both recommended to be approved. The planning committee meets Wednesday, September 3 at 10.30am at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.