‘Listen to housing objectors’

Councillor Ray Wells (centre, in suit) near the site of the proposed homes
Councillor Ray Wells (centre, in suit) near the site of the proposed homes

A COUNCILLOR has urged planners to listen to disgruntled residents who responded in their “hundreds” to plans to build executive housing at two farms.

Quarry Farm and Tunstall Farm have both been earmarked for dozens of executive houses under a Hartlepool Borough Council planning blueprint.

The sites are in the Park ward area of town, whose Conservative councillor Ray Wells claims there have been hundreds of objections to both sites during a consultation that came to an end on February 11.

He told the Mail the strong opposition is a clear sign that the council’s housing plans are flawed and should be looked at again.

Residents had objected due to fears over flooding, access, infrastructure, loss of greenfield land and the impact it would have on local schools.

The council said it has received a “large number” of responses. But the level of objections are yet to be revealed as they are still being collated.

Coun Wells said: “I’m absolutely delighted at the level of response by Park ward residents. From what I have seen the level of objections send out a clear message.

“This is exactly why I requested a greater consultation as it was my feeling that the earlier one had not been wide enough.

“My message would be to the team dealing with this matter that they now take on board the comments and level of objections.

“People obviously feel very strongly about this and the whole point of consultation is to listen to people’s opinions.”

The core strategy lays down the planning framework in the borough for the next 15 years.

Key areas of the draft include the expansion of the town to the west and south-west for new housing, with new road access northwards off the A689.

Other sites identified for housing are Claxton, Wynyard Woods and the Owton Grange area.

The plan also includes identifying parts of the southern business zone, including Graythorp, as an area for a centre of excellence for environmental waste management and industries which help the environment.

A council spokesman said: “We have received a large number of responses to the core strategy consultation as a whole.

“These are currently being collated so we are not able to give any specific breakdowns.

“We would once again like to thank the residents and other parties who took part in the consultation and gave us their views.”