Parish councils ‘nervous’ at plans for 2,000 homes on edge of Hartlepool

Chairman of Elwick Parish Council, Chris Banks
Chairman of Elwick Parish Council, Chris Banks

PARISH council leaders representing the villages which will potentially be affected by a proposed 2,000-strong housing development in Hartlepool say they are “nervous” at the plans.

Proposals are in the pipeline for homes, shops, a community centre and doctor’s surgery to be built at High Tunstall, in the West Park area of town.

Part of the site of the proposed housing development at High Tunstall off Elwick Road

Part of the site of the proposed housing development at High Tunstall off Elwick Road

But today the scheme was met with “nervousness” by Dalton Piercy Parish Council and Elwick Parish Council which represent the villages which will feel the impact of such a development, particularly when it comes to transport issues.

Councillor Alan Timothy, chairman of Dalton Piercy Parish Council, said the new housing development would not work without new transport links.

“The current transport infastructure won’t work and since nobody has told me what measures could be put in place then we are nervous about the transport issues,” he said.

“The traffic going through our village is already challenged and therefore unless we do something different then we are going to have some problems.”

He added: “We have no great views on the development per se, our views and our concerns are with the transport infastructure because it’s already a problem without another 2,000 houses being built nearby.”

Chris Banks, chairman of Elwick Parish Council, echoed Mr Timothy’s concerns.

“They are talking about thousands of houses being built there and that’s going to generate a lot of traffic,” he said. “There is already a significant volume of traffic coming through the village to access the A19, particularly on mornings and evenings.

“Unless they are going to make significant progress with roads then I don’t think it would work and Elwick would become a rat run.”

Mr Banks added that the parish council would also be concerned about the rural area surrounding the village being preserved in future.

He added: “We have always had assurances that there would be no development beyond the Dalton cross roads and we hope that will be so.”

The West Park Residents’ Association, which helps to look after the West Park area, refused to comment on the scheme at this stage, saying members would prefer to see further plans first.

The plans, which are expected to include a new western bypass road, are expected to be included in a planning application that will be submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council. Planning consultant Prism has been engaged by the unnamed developer to prepare the application.

Hartlepool has received a series of large new housing developments in recent months. Developer Persimmon is planning up to 2,500 homes off the A689 at the edge of town.