Old reservoir site to become home to new estate

A section of the water at Hart Reservoir.
A section of the water at Hart Reservoir.

Initial plans to turn a disused reservoir into a housing estate have been given the go ahead

Outline planning permission has been granted for 52 homes off Hart Lane, with the finer details of what the buildings will look like to be put together by applicant Brett Wilkinson and chartered planning consultants Stovell and Millwater.

In respect of the amended layout for up to 52 dwellings, the indicative plans approximately half the proposed dwellings to be positioned around the lower reservoir and towards the south east corner of the site, with the remaining properties sited beyond the access road that cuts through the site.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning officers

The approval by Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee marks a milestone in the development, which has been in the pipeline for up to four years.

Concerns had been raised fears about the over-development of the area and claims it is already overloaded with similar properties which have proved difficult to sell.

The proposals, which had seen a reduction from 70 homes from an earlier application, sparked worries there could be a potential harm to wildlife and cause transport problems, with Hartlepool Civic Society, ward Councillor Paul Beck and Hart Parish Council also highlighting fears.

The matter was deferred last month when members of the committee took a visit to the site.

The meeting was told by officers, who recommended approval, that a series of conditions have been drawn up to address issues.

Mr Wilkinson has agreed to a Section 106 agreement, which will see £153,000 contributed towards primary education, a further £95,329 towards secondary schools, built a sports provision worth £13,000.

Nine of the homes will be affordable and a series of ecological measures will be taken, along with a deal to ensure the long-term of maintenance of the nature reserve and its ecology, car park, open space, landscaping and the areas of water, as well as other areas of the plot.

The planning consultancy said it had worked closely with council officers to put together a scheme which they say will be a solution for the site, where the redundant reservoirs are fed only by rain water.

Councillor Majorie James, who was the only councillor of seven sitting on the committee’s session to vote against the scheme, sought information about whether street lighting and access was covered by the agreement, which officers said had been taken into consideration.

In a report, planning officers told councillors: “In respect of the amended layout for up to 52 dwellings, the indicative plans approximately half the proposed dwellings to be positioned around the lower reservoir and towards the south east corner of the site, with the remaining properties sited beyond the access road that cuts through the site.”

It adds the home will be two to two-and-a-half storeys high.