Talks on housing

Fens estate residents who are opposed to the proposed housing development that will take place in the fields behind them.

Fens estate residents who are opposed to the proposed housing development that will take place in the fields behind them.

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A RESIDENTS association is working with planning chiefs to minimise the effects of a possible new housing estate.

The Fens Residents’ Association is opposing council plans to use land at Claxton for up to 1,750 new homes as part of its town-wide planning blueprint for the next 15 years.

They hope to persuade a Government-appointed planning inspector that the land is not suitable for development.

But the association says it is working with council planners as the Claxton plans take shape to make sure their views are taken into account.

The residents group was approached by planners to be involved in the creation of a specific Claxton development policy.

Robert Smith, vice chairman of the Fens Residents’ Association, said: “We are being pragmatic. There is no guarantee that our wish not to develop Claxton at all will prevail so if we are invited to have an input into things we can mitigate then it makes sense to take the opportunity.”

The council’s senior cabinet committee backed plans in September to use land to the south wets of Hartlepool for future housing as part of its Core Strategy.

The association has had two site visits with planning officers to discuss details of a significant green wedge between the Fens and any new housing.

It will also have a say on other important issues including access and housing density and type when it meets with planning officers on Tuesday.

Mr Smith added: “We are not putting all our eggs in one basket. We are still hopeful that the inspector will support people’s opinions that it is not a good place to develop.

“But if it does go ahead we want to be able to have our influence on it.”

The council will hold a final round of consultation early next year.

For more details about the group’s fight against the plans, see its website www.fensresidentsassociation.co.uk