Safety fears as new homes approved for Hartlepool site near school

Traffic in Coniscliffe Road, Hartlepool. Provided by Richard Edwards
Traffic in Coniscliffe Road, Hartlepool. Provided by Richard Edwards

Residents reacted with disappointment after plans were passed for a new housing development near a primary school.

Tunstall Homes Ltd won planning permission to build 39 properties and a new car park and drop off point near West Park Primary School in Coniscliffe Road.

Child safety was my main concern and I don’t think that has been addressed

Resident Richard Edwards

Residents believe the extra traffic it will generate around school start and home times will put children’s safety at risk.

But the developer said the parking arrangements, including the 29-space car park to serve the school, will help to solve the current congestion.

The mix of four and five bedroom dwellings will be built on fields to the west of Coniscliffe Road which will be extended to provide the main access.

The proposal prompted 67 objection letters from neighbours and concerns from both Elwick and Hart parish councils.

Speaking on behalf of the objectors, Richard Edwards said: “This development will bring the risk of passing traffic into the equation.”

He estimated the housing would see an additional 80 to 100 vehicle movements on a morning, adding: “That I believe brings a severe risk to the children.”

He said the creation of the drop off point served from Duchy Road would interfere with a voluntary one way traffic flow and create a “log jam”.

But Steve Barker, agent for the developers, said: “This scheme is the only way the current situation can be tackled.”

The council’s traffic and transport officers raised no objections, but said parking restrictions should be introduced on Coniscliffe Road and Duchy Road to prevent overspill parking in inappropriate areas.

Councillor Ray Martin-Wells, who is also a ward councillor for the area, said: “With a car park in place alongside some traffic laws I believe this will be of benefit to the residents.”

Coun George Springer objected to the loss of arable land for new housing.

Speaking after the scheme won permission, Mr Edwards said: “Child safety was my main concern and I don’t think that has been addressed.

“There is a reasonable alternative for access with Duchy Road but nobody discussed that.”

Resident Usha Bansal, 72, who lives in Parklands Way, added: “We will be badly affected with diggers going up and down and all the noise pollution.

“How can they pass it?”