Hartlepool United raise concerns over town gypsy site proposals

A consultation session about proposed Gypsy and traveller sites in Hartlepool was held at the town's Mill House Leisure Centre. Speaking for the council was assistant director of regeneration, Damien Wilson.
A consultation session about proposed Gypsy and traveller sites in Hartlepool was held at the town's Mill House Leisure Centre. Speaking for the council was assistant director of regeneration, Damien Wilson.

HARTLEPOOL United chiefs have raised concerns about proposals that could see a permanent gypsy and traveller site located next to the ground.

Russ Green, Pools’ chief executive, was among the audience at the latest consultation event hosted by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Land at Clarence Road, north of Victoria Park, has been earmarked as part of the Mill House Master Plan regeneration work. But it was included within the 16-site gypsy consultation because no firm proposals for the land had come forward at the time.

Mr Green queried what its inclusion meant for the future of the Master Plan, which aims to transform the area surrounding the ground.

But officers stressed they have to consult on all council-owned sites that matched the specific Government criteria and said councils have to make provision in their Local Plans for a gypsy and traveller site – but that some sites would be more suitable than others.

Mr Green said: “We are a concerned about the plans as we are still looking to progress with the Mill House development and this would definitely impinge on that.

“If this went ahead it would have a big impact.”

Damien Wilson, assistant director of regeneration, urged people to have their say. He also said an updated report about the Mill House Master Plan will be going before the council’s finance and policy committee within the next couple of months.

The consultation follows the formal examination of the proposed new Local Plan by a Government planning inspector, which was suspended after he asked council officers to find an appropriate site.