AN EYESORE building that has blighted a seaside resort is to be demolished using funding from the sale of a council plot of land once an agreement has been reached with the owners.
Hartlepool Borough Council is selling land off Elizabeth Way, adjacent to Seaton Carew Nursery School, in order for Dunelm Homes to build 35 new houses on the site which currently houses the sports hall, youth centre and caretaker’s house.
Now as part of the wider regeneration plans, Hartlepool’s full council has agreed for money from that sale to be used to help buy and demolish the empty Capanac Leisure-owned Longscar Centre at Seaton.
Officers said they are still in negotiations with the owners to secure the site by agreement but a compulsory purchase order (CPO) could be used, if necessary.
Council leader, Labour councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, presented the report which said: “The Longscar building is a key element of the overall proposals and in response to the public consultation this has been included in the first phase of any improvements.
“Therefore the proceeds from the first phase of the residential development at Elizabeth Way will in part be used to fund the cost of purchase and demolition of the building.
“Approaches and negotiations are ongoing with the current owners to purchase by agreement before any other means of acquisition are considered.”
The finance and policy committee gave its backing to the plans in July ahead of them going before the full council last week and the rest of the money from the confidential sale will go towards the development of community facilities within Seaton.
The council is working with the Esh Group on the multi-million pound regeneration plans.
Councillor Jonathan Brash, who refers to himself as independent Labour but is classed as independent by the council, said: “This is a fantastic development that would benefit Seaton Carew and the rest of Hartlepool and I hope that we can enthusiastically endorse it. A lot of work has been put in by this administration and certainly by the last one.”
Meanwhile, as previously reported, the council is proposing to close Seaton Carew Nursery, in Brompton Walk, and merge it on the same site as Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, in Crawford Street, also in Seaton Carew.
Labour councillor Marjorie James asked if discussions were ongoing with the Esh Group to see if they would want to include the nursery land in their development.
Dave Stubbs, the council’s chief executive, said talks are still taking place and the developers are assessing whether it would be commercially viable for them. He added: “We are in discussions with the Esh Group as we speak.”