COUNCILLORS have agreed plans to extend an exclusive housing estate on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
Cameron Hall Developments have outline permission to build 134 houses on agricultural land to the north west of Wynyard Village after its plans were agreed.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the plans at a meeting this week.
Councillors agreed the plans despite concerns from nearby residents about traffic congestion, limited school places and “destruction of the countryside”.
Conservative group leader Ray Martin-Wells, ward councillor for Rural West, spoke in favour but didn’t vote. He declared a pre-determination given that he has previously spoken in favour of executive housing at Wynyard.
Coun Martin-Wells told the Mail: “I believe this will bring much-needed income to the borough and it also opens up the borough to people from areas that wouldn’t necessarily consider moving to Hartlepool as their first choice.
“I believe it gives us another string to our bow.”
But Putting Hartlepool First councillor Geoff Lilley abstained from the vote because he had concerns about the overall plans for the Wynyard housing estate.
Coun Lilley said: “The word planning suggests there is an overall plan in place but it appears we are just reacting to applications that come in. We need an overiding plan, that is what good planning is.”
Planning officers had recommended the outline plans for approval despite the nine objection letters. Phase one at the north eastern end of the site, next to existing houses, will see 63 houses, with the second phase in the south east accommodating 12 houses. The final area of development would be for the remaining 59 houses.
The agreed plans were recommended to be approved subject to the completion of a legal agreement to secure an affordable housing contribution, a contribution towards secondary education and a commitment to public transport provision.
The council’s education team had highlighted a shortfall of primary school places in the area but officers say that will be met by the new school in Wynyard, as reported.
There is also a need for 18 secondary school places and a funding contribution of £214,808 is being asked for as part of the legal agreement.