More parking needed if Hartlepool tourist spot is to thrive

Car parking at Seaton Carew.
Car parking at Seaton Carew.

Extra car parking needs to be provided in Seaton Carew if it is to thrive as a tourist hot spot, councillors say.

The regeneration of Seaton is one of the council’s top priorities as part of the ambitious Vision project.

Cars have been parking irresponsibly and stupidly in central reservation or on corners

Seaton councillor Paul Thompson

But members of the council’s regeneration committee said more investment in parking is needed to address a shortage of spaces which is affecting residents.

Seaton councillor Paul Thompson, who sits on the committee, said he had been received complaints from people about “irresponsible and stupid parking”.

They include drivers parking in the middle of the road on The Front around the fish and chip shops.

Coun Thompson said: “I’ve received a number of complaints, particularly from residents who have been negatively affected by parking.

“We have had a lot of incidents recently. The area by the chip shops there is a central reservation and cars have been parking in there or park on corners irresponsibly and stupidly.”

Coun Thompson said drivers have been ticked during recent enforcement action which he hopes will help get the message across.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said the council needed to address a shortage of car parking especially around The Front.

He said: “At the moment when you drive through Seaton you cannot get parked at all.

“We need to look at greater investment and we need to stop people parking irresponsibly.

“If we are serious about developing Seaton Carew as a major tourist area then we need to make sure we look after residents who live there and have ample parking spaces.”

The parking issue arose as councillors endorsed a Seaton Carew Masterplan document.

The masterplan will serve as planning guidance to potential investors and aims to represent the thoughts and aspirations of the community.

Changes were made following an eight-week public consultation exercise between March and May which attracted 378 responses to questionnaires.

Amendments to the plan include reflecting concern about the appearance of the Longscar building which the council wants to compulsory purchase and demolish to develop the wider area.

Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said in a report: “Seaton Carew is a valuable visitor/tourism asset for Hartlepool.

“Along with the Hartlepool Maritime Experience, marina, Navigation Point and he Headland it contributes to Hartlepool’s overall visitor offer which has an economic value of £143million and supports over 2,000 jobs in the local area.”