Seaton eyesore could make way for ‘market square’ in £5m boost

Coun Mike Turner at the Longscar Centre
Coun Mike Turner at the Longscar Centre

A SEASIDE resort is in line for £5m of improvements which could win back businesses and tourists.

That is how much could be pumped into Seaton Carew if major development plans get the go ahead.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s senior cabinet committee will meet on Monday to agree a developer to create a series of new housing and leisure developments with significant improvements to The Front.

The cabinet is being recommended to appoint Esh Group, one of the North East’s biggest construction firms, as the preferred developer.

The proposals include building new housing in Elizabeth Way, Coronation Drive and on part of the old fairground site off The Front.

Council papers say the gross value of the identified sites could be £7m which could provide £5m for regeneration including the demolition of the Longscar Centre, which has stood empty for years.

Papers state: “The redevelopment ideas for The Front including the Longscar site have the potential to make a huge improvement to the appeal of Seaton Carew and how it is perceived by future visitors and users.

“The Esh proposal includes proposals that are generally in keeping with the existing development in this area of Seaton Carew and are broadly in line with the aspirations of the original development and marketing brief.”

The Longscar Centre site could be redeveloped with small commercial units with flats above and create a market square feel with space for markets or public events.

Other suggested improvements in the wider area include a performance space, children’s play facilities, including interactive water play facilities, beach huts and seating areas.

A contribution would also be made towards the next phase of boosting Seaton’s sea defences from Station Lane southwards to the sand dunes.

The council stresses that the proposals were at an early stage and both they and the potential regeneration could change.

Seaton Carew councillor Paul Thompson said: “A £5m investment in Seaton will be fantastic.

“Hopefully, we will start to see businesses flock back to Seaton and start to see tourists come back and be like it used to many years ago.”

Fellow councillor Mike Turner said: “I think all of us would welcome these developments, particularly in these very bleak economic times.

“Provided we get proper consultation and community facilities on Elizabeth Way are replaced, then I welcome these proposals.”

Seaton Carew councillor Cath Hill was unavailable for comment.

The cabinet is also recommended to agree that officers work with the developers to come up with a draft scheme and report back later.