Plans to sell council land

COUNCIL-OWNED land next to a cemetery could be sold off for housing if plans are approved.

Hartlepool Borough Council is considering selling land in Tanfield Road next to Stranton Cemetery with the area being transformed into an estate.

There are two council-owned pieces of land in the road, Tanfield Nursery and the depot area on the opposite side of the road, which local authority officers are considering selling.

Over the last years, the three-acre site has been put to various uses, including plant cultivation for the nursery and parks, storage for vehicles and equipment and parking for graveyard and parks and countryside staff.

There are currently a number of buildings on the land, including greenhouses, which could be moved to the nursery site.

Council officers say the other buildings there are old and of poor quality.

The cabinet committee is due to meet tomorrow to discuss the proposals.

A council report said: “The depot area to the south of Tanfield Road houses parks and countryside operational staff and machinery.

“The existing accommodation is in a very poor condition, it is not fit for purpose and in need of major reinvestment in the region of £100,000.”

The report added: “The released site to the south of Tanfield Road would be very attractive as a good quality housing development due to its location within a very popular residential area within easy reach of local facilities.

“A draft development brief has been prepared by planning policy officers indicating that the site is suitable, in principle, for residential development.”

Officers say a sale would generate a “significant” amount of money.

There are also plans to expand and improve the retail side of the Tanfield Nursery with the possible addition of a new cafe.

Meanwhile, the council has been approached by the leaseholder of the former Focus DIY unit, in Lynn Street, with a proposal to sell the long lease back to the local authority.

The details of the lease, however, have not been released ahead of the meeting.

The unit has not been used by Focus since 2006 but it has been used by a charity, Computers for Africa, in recent years.

Hartlepool Borough Council owns the land surrounding the unit and officers say if they did acquire the site it could be combined with the Lynn Street Depot to create a larger mixed use development.

Alternatively it could be used for a residential, office and business-style development to help regenerate that part of town.

Another option is for parks and countryside staff from the Tanfield Road site to relocate there at a cost of £100,000.

Officers say it would cost £40,000 for electrical improvements, £10,000 for water and heating systems and £50,000 for work to the building.

The cabinet committee is due to meet on Tuesday at 9.15am at the Civic Centre.

What do you think of the council’s proposals?

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