Developers launch appeal over plans to convert Hartlepool coastguard station

Headland Lighthouse
Headland Lighthouse

PLANS to convert a former coastguard station next to one of Hartlepool’s most historic sites will be reconsidered.

An appeal has been launched by the applicants of the proposed scheme that would convert the former coastguard’s office, next to the Heugh Lighthouse and Gun Battery into a home.

Evidence will be looked at by inspector and a decision made

Planning Inspectorate spokesman

An application for a change of use, which would also involve adding a first-floor extension and viewing gallery, was refused by planning councillors in November on heritage grounds.

The scheme will now be looked at again and decided by The Planning Inspectorate.

It will be decided by written representations but a site visit is due to take place on Monday.

A Planning Inspectorate spokesman said: “All evidence and representations received will be looked at and considered by the inspector who will look at the various policies, legislation and guidance that is in place and will make a decision based on that.”

A decision is due to be made by next month.

The application by SJR Architectural was turned down by Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee by nine votes to one.

The main reason was over fears it would harm the heritage of the area. The site lies within the Headland Conservation Area.

Councillor Geoff Lilley said at the meeting: “I think this will have a significant detrimental effect to the area as a whole and will be something we live to regret if it’s passed.”

Coun Marjorie James described the plans as “a step too far” adding: “To try to do something like this in the centenary of the First World War and bombardment is atrocious.”

But Headland councillor Jim Ainslie was in favour of the scheme.

Coun Ainslie said at the meeting: “It has been a moribund area and this will bring it back to life.

“In my opinion it is going to enhance the area.”