Spotlight on housing options

Goverment inspector Kevin Ward
Goverment inspector Kevin Ward

A GOVERNMENT-appointed inspector will examine potential housing sites in Hartlepool rejected by council planners as a public hearing continues today.

Inspector Kevin Ward is leading a public examination into the town’s major planning blueprint for development over the next 15 years.

The Local Plan, formerly known as Core Strategy, includes proposals to create almost 2,500 homes in a south-western extension from the A689 to Brierton Lane and delivering new housing in Upper Warren, Elwick, Hart and Wynyard.

The public hearing enters its second and final week today at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street.

This morning, Mr Ward is due to look at other potential sites which were previously considered by Hartlepool Borough Council but not included in its final proposals.

They include sites at Tunstall Farm and Quarry Farm.

Last week council officers told Mr Ward the chosen sites had been selected and assessed using the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) using a “comprehensive” evidence base.

In the afternoon, Mr Ward is due to look at the overall supply of housing land in Hartlepool.

Local groups set to speak include Greatham Parish Council, Fens Residents’ Association and Greatham Residents’ Association who have concerns at the large south-western extension.

Developers such as Taylor Wimpey, Bellway Homes and Yuill Homes are also set to speak.

On Wednesday, Mr Ward is due to examine the Local Plan’s provision for gypsies and travellers with land off Brenda Road highlighted as a possibility.

The Local Plan has been prepared by Hartlepool council following extensive public consultation.

But before it can be adopted, it must be subject to a public examination by an inspector to check that it complies with all legal requirements and will consider any outstanding objections.

The hearing is taking place in the college’s Conference Facility and members of the public are welcome to attend.

There are two sessions a day, starting at 10am and 2pm.