COUNCILLORS have agreed controversial £6m plans to build 45 new homes on former council-owned land next to a cemetery to the dismay of local residents.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee has narrowly approved plans by developers Gleeson Homes to build the new housing estate on the former depot in Tanfield Road, next to Stranton Cemetery.
The development will see a range of “traditional” two-storey semi-detached and detached houses of two, three and four bedrooms with five of the houses classed as affordable homes.
The original plan was for 48 houses, but that was reduced to 45 and remediation work is also needed because of contamination.
Ahead of the meeting there had been 21 letters of objection from residents with concerns about the access being onto Tanfield Road, noise and disturbance, the number of new houses and concerns Tanfield Road will be used for parking.
Objectors also say traffic from funerals should be respected and fear the character of the area will be lost.
Labour councillor Kaylee Sirs, who represents the Foggy Furze ward, spoke at the meeting on behalf of the residents opposed to the plans.
Coun Sirs said: “To have just one road into the new estate is ridiculous and we think this is the wrong decision.
“We were hoping the application was going to be refused and the biggest concern is that there is only one through road which is busy enough and this development will add another 90 plus cars.
“The residents feel very disillusioned as a lot of them moved here for a quiet life.”
A spokesman for Gleeson Homes, who thanked council planners for their help, said: “This £6m project will be completed over a period of about two years and because we employ local labour, subcontractors and suppliers we will contribute another £1m per year to the local economy.
“We are looking forward to implementing our Community Matters Programme in the area which includes employing local people, supporting junior sports teams & training apprentices.
“In this respect we would like to invite junior sports teams to apply for funding and we would also like to hear from local young people who are seeking an apprenticeship in the building industry.
“We understand that some local residents are not entirely happy about our new housing development but we are sure they will change their minds when all the houses are bought and occupied.”
All of the houses will have gardens and private parking with landscaping and planting work throughout the development.
In recent years, the three-acre Tanfield Road 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.
For more details about the Community Matters Programme visit www.gleeson-homes.co.uk