Hartlepool Labour council passes ‘100% of major housing developments’

New houses being built in Hart Village
New houses being built in Hart Village

Plans for new housing developments are more successful in Labour controlled councils like Hartlepool according to a new study.

Property developers are far less likely to win planning permission for major residential schemes from Conservative local authorities, says Saving Stream, a property finance and development loans firm.

Robert Smith of the Fens Residents Association

Robert Smith of the Fens Residents Association

The company claims that in the year between June 2015 and this year, Labour councils including Hartlepool, Barnsley and Camden granted 100% of major residential applications.

By contrast, Saving Stream added nine out of the ten local authorities with the lowest rate of planning permissions were Conservative led, including Maldon, in Essex, which granted just 26% of applications.

Liam Brooke, co-founder of Saving Stream, said: “It’s vital that local authorities ensure they are supporting developers in order to drive residential development and fill the housing gap.

“Nobody is saying that local authorities have to approve every application but it’s important that they keep an open mind when being presented with an idea, making decisions quickly and fairly.”

Each decision is taken democratically after considering local and national planning guidance and all other material considerations

Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “The council receives planning applications on an ongoing basis and determines each individual application on its own merits.

“Each decision is taken democratically after considering local and national planning guidance and all other material considerations.”

Robert Smith, of the Fens Residents Association, which has been involved in trying to safeguard residents against the large 1,200 home South West Extension development, said: “I don’t believe that the political colour of a Local Authority has much to do with the number of applications approved.

“In the case of Hartlepool targets are being set too high and exceed realistic local demand for mid market properties and above.”

He added: “Hartlepool’s real demand is for decent housing that people can afford to buy or rent, and I think that the council is doing its level best to provide this within the present urban limits.

“In the case of many of the green field developments that have recently been granted outline approval, I think it will be decades before they actually get built, if ever.”

A Government spokesman said local need must be met whichever local authority that applies to.