Interest sought for seaside sites

Land off Coronation Drive
Land off Coronation Drive
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DEVELOPERS are to be consulted on how to transform council-owned sites at a popular seaside resort as part of a wider strategy to breathe new life into the area.

Regeneration officers at Hartlepool Borough Council are asking for “initial expressions” of interest in three sites at Seaton Carew in a bid to attract new investment.

They say they are looking for “inspirational, inventive and original ideas” for a mix of commercial and residential developments.

One of the sites is a stretch of land at The Front, which includes the paddling pool, Rocket House car park, bus station and former fairground site and the privately-owned Longscar Centre, which has stood empty for a number of years.

Council officers say they are working with the owners to secure the site through an agreement or use planning powers to ensure that it contributes to their plans.

Other areas include the site of the Seaton Carew Youth Centre and Community Sports Hall, in Elizabeth Way, and a stretch of land near to the junction of Coronation Drive and Warrior Drive, which officers say has potential for new houses.

Community facilities would need to be relocated elsewhere in Seaton if the Elizabeth Way site is redeveloped.

Senior councillors sitting on the cabinet committee will meet next week to discuss the plans.

A report by Damien Wilson, assistant director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “There has been some positive feedback from a limited number of developers through informal discussions, but a wider understanding of the likely interest and demand for the sites is required, to allow cabinet to make informed decisions in the future regarding the possible use and disposal of those sites in order to support future regeneration of Seaton Carew.

“Cabinet is therefore being asked to endorse an exercise that can assess what the likely interest in the various council owned sites would be if they were put to the market.”

Mr Wilson added that developers will be asked to respond to a document that explains what the council hopes to achieve in Seaton Carew and to highlight what they could use the sites for.

The council’s aims include improving the area as a tourist destination and as a place to live, to promote the areas assets including the beach and promenade, and increase investment.

Senior councillors sitting on the cabinet committee are set to meet on Monday, February 7, at 9.15am, at the Civic Centre.

l It’s your vote: Page 8