King Oswy Drive housing plans could move a step closer next week

Councilor Rob Cook

Councilor Rob Cook

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PLANS to transform a former school site into a new 138-house estate could move a step closer next week.

The Vela Group has submitted plans to Hartlepool Borough Council for the new estate on the former Henry Smith School site, in King Oswy Drive.

The council’s planning committee will meet next week to discuss the “hybrid application”, which includes full permission for 25 houses and outline permission for the remaining 113 houses.

There is allotments to the north of the site, which is currently just an empty field, and houses to the east and west.

A planning report said: “The site which lies on the northern side of King Oswy Drive, opposite St Hilds CE School, extends to approximately 3.7ha in total.

It added: “The site is bounded by existing housing to the east – Rogeri Place, Dowson Road and Brancepeth Walk, and to the west – Whitrout Road.”

The full planning permission is for 22 two-bedroom bungalows, two two-bedroom accessible bungalows and one four-bed accessible bungalow.

The outline planning permission is for 113 houses, which would be a mix of two and three bedroom houses and apartments. Main access to the site would be from King Oswy Drive with other access roads proposed from Dowson Road and Whitrout Road.

In 2010 the Vela Group secured funding from the Homes Communities Agency (HCA) worth £3.375m to build dozens of new affordable homes and the King Oswy Drive land was identified as a suitable site.

The council-owned site has been empty since 2003.

Ahead of the meeting, the council’s planning department had received two letters of objection from neighbours, two letters with comments and one letter of support. Concerns raised include intrusion of privacy, disruption to traffic during construction and concerns over the access roads.

The planning committee, chaired by Labour councillor Rob Cook, is due to meet on June 5 at 10am at the Civic Centre, Victoria Road.