CAMPAIGNERS behind a petition against coastal defence plans which could see the partial demolition of a promenade have urged people to join their cause.
Experts say hundreds of homes on Hartlepool’s Headland, the historic Heugh Gun Battery, St Bega’s Primary School, the lighthouse and the memorial are under threat from coastal erosion within the next 100 years unless millions of pounds is spent on sea defences.
Four options have been put forward by Mott MacDonald consultants, who were brought in by Hartlepool Borough Council to examine the first lines of defence.
Three options include various ways of strengthening the sea wall.
But it is the fourth – and cheapest option – to demolish the sea wall and promenade, adjacent to the Town Moor, that has angered residents and seen dozens of locals sign a petition against the plan.
Robert Price, 41, is chairman of the Stop the Heart from Being Ripped out of Hartlepool group, which set up the petition.
The main aim of the group is to remove option four from the consultation as group members say it is “entirely inappropriate”.
The dad-of-two, a lawyer, from the Headland, said: “If you are trying to influence local government then force in numbers really does matter.
“The more people from across Hartlepool that are supporting this petition then the better chance we have got.
“I would like to thank the committee members for all their hard work so far.
“They have been fantastic and really helped maintain momentum.”
Copies of the petition are available to sign in Headland pubs and the Mail reception, in Wesley Square.
Group members also plan to submit a question calling for councillors to support their cause at a meeting of the full council in August.
A letter outlining their concerns is also set to be sent to Mayor Stuart Drummond, the consultants, Defra and council officers.
One public meeting, attended by dozens of concerned residents, has already been held at the Fisherman’s Arms pub, on the Headland.
Residents will also be attending a ward surgery meeting on Tuesday, August 30, at the Borough Hall between 6pm and 8pm.
Independent councillor John Marshall, of St Hilda ward, is hoping to get senior officers and civic leaders to attend.
For more information about the campaign visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and select the link at the bottom of this story.