People will get the chance to have a say on Hartlepool’s new local plan from later this month

Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Civic Centre

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A blueprint that will guide all kinds of new development in Hartlepool for 15 years is due to go out to consultation soon.

Hartlepool Borough Council has been working on a new Local Plan since its last one was scrapped by the authority in October 2013 at a reported cost of £1.5million.

Now an eight-week consultation is due to be held on the council’s preferred options for its new plan starting later this month.

It includes policies under a wide range of headings covering issues such as new housing, infrastructure, employment sites, and retail and commercial development.

In the preferred options document which is due to go out as part of the consultation, council leader councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher comments on the importance of the local plan.

In the document he said: “The Local Plan is incredibly important as it will set the planning framework for the next 15 years.

“It contains policies that will help Hartlepool achieve its Vision for future growth and prosperity with a wide range and choice of homes and jobs within a high quality environment.”

The plan will go out to consultation between May 27 and July 22.

Regarding new housing, the council says it needs to deliver an average of 400 new homes a year to meet demand – a minimum of 6,000 new homes over the 15 years of the plan.

There are existing planning permissions to build 3,900.

A council report states: “It has been necessary to identify a range of sustainable and deliverable greenfield sites in varied locations to help meet the housing need.”

The previous Local Plan cost £1.5m and took five years to produce.

But it was agreed to withdraw it after a majority of councillors backed a motion by the Labour group.

It said the plan did not represent people’s wishes on gypsy and traveller provision and a large South West housing extension.

Denise Ogden, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods said in a report: “The Local Plan and its timely delivery is crucial to the local authority, not only to provide certainty to developers and inward investors, but also because of the Government’s requirement on local authorities to produce a local plan by the Government’s target date of early 2017.”

Views will be taken into account in the production of the Publication Stage of the Local Plan due to be produced in October.

A decision to move to consultation is due to be made by the council’s Regeneration Committee on Friday.