Ex-library site price reduced for housing

The first Hartlepool Borough Council meeting under the new committee system.
The first Hartlepool Borough Council meeting under the new committee system.

SENIOR councillors have agreed to proceed with plans to sell a former library site for housing at their first meeting under the new system of governance.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s new finance and policy committee met for the first time since the old directly elected mayor and cabinet system was scrapped.

The meeting at the Civic Centre was held to discuss plans to sell the former site of Foggy Furze Library and Staby House Bowling Green, off Stockton Road.

A report said that work on the site had found that there are areas of contamination and drainage problems, meaning it will cost more than expected to clear the site to start building work to create around 30 houses.

A price had already been agreed with the developer that won the tender to buy the land, but it wanted to reduce the value of the sale.

Committee members were told by officers that the new price is still competitive compared to the original lower offers and the reduction to pay for the work is also considered reasonable.

Councillors were presented with a range of options including going ahead with the sale at a lower price, for the council to carry out the work and then agree a price for the land afterwards, to re-market the site, or withdraw from the sale with a view to re-use or re-marketing the land at a later date.

But members agreed to push ahead with the sale at a lower price.

Leader of the council, Labour group leader Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “This housing is really required in Hartlepool.”

The plans are still subject to planning permission.