Thousands of new homes need to be built in Hartlepool in coming years

New houses being built in Hart Village
New houses being built in Hart Village

At least 6,000 new homes must be built in Hartlepool in 15 years to cope with population growth and after years of failing to meet demand, says the council.

A target of 400 houses a year is included in Hartlepool Borough Council’s proposed new Local Plan which is currently out for public consultation.

New houses being built on the Bishop Cuthbert Estate, Hartlepool

New houses being built on the Bishop Cuthbert Estate, Hartlepool

Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher acknowledged some of the development proposals may prove unpopular with residents and urged people to have their say.

Hartlepool’s population is predicted to grow from 92,400 in 2014 to 97,400 by 2037, according to the Office of National Statistics.

A Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) endorsed by the council last year to establish and guide future housing needs said the town needed to provide 325 new homes a year for the next 15 years.

But the Local Plan Preferred Options document says that figure should increase to 400 a year after taking into account likely demolitions and failing to meet previous targets.

The council accepts that there has been a record of persistent under delivery of housing

Hartlepool Local Plan consultation document

The SHMA says Hartlepool’s need for new housing is driven by the increase in population, people living longer, planned economic growth and the need to keep young and working age people in town.

The Local Plan Preferred Options consultation document states: “In order to grow and prosper as a borough and to meet the existing needs and aspirations of residents, Hartlepool needs to provide a range of housing types in a variety of locations where people want to live.

“Having only achieved the advocated housing target once in the last ten years... the council accepts that there has been a record of persistent under delivery of housing.

“As a result there is a requirement to increase housing provision over the first five years by an additional 20%.”

The consultation document says a full range of housing types will be needed but with a particular focus on family homes and elderly people’s accommodation including more bungalows.

The council says there is existing planning permissions to meet around 3,900 of the 6,000 new homes needed including the South West Extension which has approval for 1,260 properties.

That would mean space for another 2,100 new homes would need to be identified and provided between 2017 when the plan is due to be adopted and 2032.

An application for a large development at High Tunstall for 1,200 homes, primary school, care home and other facilities has been lodged with the council but has yet to be decided.

Around 500 homes are proposed on two sites at Wynyard.

Smaller housing allocations are proposed at North Farm in Elwick for around 35 homes and 50 on two sites in Hart village.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I think some people may not be happy with some proposals especially from a developers’ point of view but I think we need to get the message out there this is the starting point of the whole consultation process.

“We are not putting forward what is the end product.”

The new Local Plan also includes policies for key issues such as boosting the local economy, improving Hartlepool’s infrastructure and minimising the effects of climate change.

A drop-in event takes place at the Baltic Suite, Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience on Monday, June 6, from 2pm-7.30pm and July 7 from 2pm-7pm.