Response ‘fantastic’

SENIOR councillors will sit down with council officers over the next few weeks to discuss the huge consultation response to a major planning blueprint.

More than 1,200 people responded to the latest round of consultation by Hartlepool Borough Council on the blueprint – called a core strategy – which will shape the town for the next 15 years.

It will include details of how Hartlepool is expected to develop, what kind of changes will be needed to make this happen and how they will be brought about.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said the level of response was “fantastic” and he will sit down with members of his cabinet committee and planning officers to go through the responses.

A full report with detailed recommendations will then go before the committee.

The second round of consultation – which was needed after the change of government and other major changes in planning policy – saw three times the amount of people respond than first time around.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the full council, Mayor Drummond said: “The public consultation finished five weeks ago and planners have been processing through the responses over the last few weeks.

“There was over 1,200 responses from the public which is fantastic and the cabinet will have a series of meetings with officers to go through the responses.

“This document is the vision for the town for the next 15 to 20 years.”

Key areas of the draft strategy include:

l The expansion of the town to the west and south-west for new housing, with new road access northwards off the A689;

l Small sites for executive housing at Tunstall Farm and Quarry Farm and a small expansion of the executive housing at Wynyard;

l The allocation of Victoria Harbour for port-related uses;

l Reserving a site for a potential new nuclear power station for the town;

l Identifying parts of the Southern Business Zone, including Graythorp, as an area for a centre of excellence for environmental waste management and industries which help the environment;

l Extensions of, and improvements to, the large green open spaces which lead from the countryside into the town and are protected from development.