People will have a say on the new Local Plan

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A town planning blueprint to guide the growth of Hartlepool for 15 years is to go out to consultation.

Hartlepool Borough Council has been working on the new Local Plan after its previous version was scrapped two-and-a-half years ago.

The Southerly Elwick junction with the A19 looking North.

The Southerly Elwick junction with the A19 looking North.

A document running to over 220 pages outlining the authority’s preferred strategies for a host of development such as housing, infrastructure, economy and retail, has been prepared.

One of the main proposals is for an £18 million Elwick bypass linked to plans for 1,200 new homes at High Tunstall.

Councillors on the Regeneration Policy Committee agreed to move to the next stage of an eight week consultation exercise from May 27-July 22.

Committee chairman Coun Kevin Cranney said: “I think this has been a long time coming.

“Most local authorities in the area have had to revisit their local plans because of legislation and we would have had to do this work anyway.”

Coun Alan Clark said: “I think it is going to shape the town for the next 15 years and married with the things that are actually going on at present and what is planned over the next few years will be very successful.”

Councillors backed plans for an Elwick bypass which would create a third main route into town from the A19.

They said it would make Elwick village safer and relieve pressure on the A689 and A179 Hart bypass which officers said could also aid business growth plans.

Coun Jim Lindridge asked what improvements were planned for the A689 to cope with extra traffic generated by a new 1,260 South West Extension development and an improved historic quay.

Planning policy team leader Matthew King said it is the intention to spend £1 million improving the junction of Catcote Road and Brierton Lane, plus a new link road between the approved South West scheme and the proposed High Tunstall development.

Mr King added: “The consultation will seek interested parties views on the document. These views will then be taken into account moving to the publication stage in October this year.”

The final plan will then be submitted to the government for approval next February.

Outline of the Local Plan.

Hartlepool council says the Local Plan aims to help the town grow in a sustainable way.

Some of the main areas it covers are:

Infrastructure

As well as a new Elwick bypass, transport priorities also include improving bus and rail services.

It highlights concerns over primary school capacity as the town grows. New primary schools are included as part of both the High Tunstall and South West developments.

Health

The plan says as growth happens further healthcare demand is expected in areas where there is major new housing.

The plan says the Hartlepool hospital site will be safeguarded for health and related facilities.

Proposals for other uses on the site would only be allowed if they did not compromise the ability to meet current and anticipated health and related uses.

Housing

Policies will help to decide where new housing is provided, how much and what type to meet the demand.

It says there is a need to deliver an average of 400 new homes a year during the period of the plan.

The plan does not feature land allocated specially for any gypsy and traveller site but the council says it will have a criteria-based policy in case there are any applications.

Retail

The plan includes a preferred priority for where main town centre businesses uses should be allowed.

The existing town centre is the top preference, followed by retail and leisure parks then smaller local centres last.

Council officers said there would be more flexibility of permissions to support the town centre such as cafes.