PLANS to build new blocks of student accommodation have been given the go-ahead by councillors with work set to start in September.
The Vela Group housing association has been granted permission by Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee to build four new accommodation blocks to house 56 Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) students on the site of the former Crown House building, in Surtees Street.
Councillors sitting on the planning committee met yesterday morning at the Civic Centre to agree the plans.
The building, which used to house offices of the former Department of Health and Social Security, was partly demolished in 2010 as part of plans to create an innovation and skills quarter and the site was cleared leaving only the original basement car park surface.
The new accommodation, which will be ready for August 2014, will include two apartment blocks with 21 en-suite bedrooms and two town houses with en-suite bedrooms and bedrooms.
Sarah Fawcett, Vela’s head of development, said: “This is the first time that Vela has provided student accommodation and demonstrates how go-ahead and innovative the housing company is in meeting the housing needs of local people of all ages.
“It also reflects Vela’s emphasis on forging positive partnerships for the benefit of the community with this purpose-built housing being developed in conjunction with Cleveland College and Art of Design and Hartlepool Borough Council.
“The accommodation will form a key part of the on-going regeneration of the Church Street area.”
Planning officers had recommended the plans be approved and councillors sitting on the committee gave their backing yesterday.
The design and access statement, submitted to support the planning application, said the proposal had been developed with Cleveland College of Art and design staff and students and the Vela Group and the hope is for more students from outside the region to attend the college.
Ahead of the planning meeting there had been one letter of support, one letter of no objection and one objection raising concerns around the size of the proposed accommodation blocks.