A residents group is calling for a dangerous junction on one of the main routes in and out of Hartlepool to be improved as part of a major new consultation.
Fens Residents’ Association says developers for the massive 1,200 home South West Extension development have gone back on plans to improve the staggered junction with Dalton Back Lane and Greatham village on the A689 road.
The group says a “golden opportunity” to prevent more accidents and deaths at the spot could be missed.
But it is calling on people to lobby Hartlepool Borough Council over the issue as part of an ongoing consultation of its proposed new Local Plan document.
Robert Smith, chairman of Fens Residents’ Association, said: “Ever since the South West Extension (SWE) debate and consultations began in 2010, Fens Residents’ Association, together with ward councillors have maintained that should the development proceed, then developer contributions should enable the dangerous staggered junction where Dalton Back Lane and the minor road from Greatham meet the A689, to be turned into a safe, signal controlled crossroads.
“The improved junction could quite sensibly also serve as the southern entrance/exit for the SWE and avoid adding yet another junction.”
Sorting out that notorious staggered junction would benefit every driver who uses it or drives past itRobert SMith, Fens Residents Association
He added Persimmon Homes had indicated the junction improvement would be part of their plans until as recently as last October when planning permission was supported by the council.
But an updated map showed plans to create a new junction into the estate near Sapper’s Corner.
Mr Smith added: “We can only presume that this option would be more economical for the developers.
“Whatever, a golden opportunity to prevent more accidents and fatalities has been missed.
“This Preferred Options consultation now presents another chance for the public to comment on this.
“Sorting out that notorious staggered junction would benefit every driver who uses it or drives past it, not just people from the Fens.”
The residents’ association is also calling for more land upstream to be set aside for flood shelving plains to be included in the development.
Mr Smith said it would provide more reassurance to residents who fear the development will increase run off water entering Greatham Beck.
“We think it is very important that local residents engage in this consultation and put it to the planners that extra shelving is an essential requirement.”
Alan Hopwood, director in charge of Persimmon Homes Teesside, said: “Persimmon Homes Teesside has engaged with Hartlepool Borough Council, local residents, ward councillors and community groups during the planning application process.
“Robust highway and drainage strategies detailing site access points and flood mitigation measures have been developed in consultation with Hartlepool Borough Council engineers, Environment Agency and other relevant parties as part of the planning submission.”
Comments on the Local Plan, quoting section 10, policy HSG4, can be sent by email to: email@example.com, or by post to Planning Policy, Hartlepool Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY.