Village to voice fears over plans

BRIAN WALKER
BRIAN WALKER
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A PARISH council chairman feels the views of the village over a major planning blueprint have not been heard.

Brian Walker, chairman of Greatham Parish Council, is worried that their concerns over the potential impact of Hartlepool’s Core Strategy document on the village have not been listened to.

The council, which also represents South Fens, fears Greatham could lose its identity if it is enveloped by new big new housing developments and potentially polluting industry on its doorstep.

It has called a meeting for people to have their say during the final round of public consultation for the core strategy.

Planners from Hartlepool Borough Council and people from builders Yuill Homes are due to attend.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond has also been invited.

Coun Walker said: “As chairman of Greatham Parish Council, which has tried to fully engage with the consultation processes, I do not feel Greatham village has been heard at all. Or have we been heard and then dismissed?

“Greatham is taking the brunt of the proposals in this core strategy with a huge expansion of the town north of the village and industry to the east and south.

“Others have certainly been heard with the much smaller extensions of the town in the Park area and at Quarry Farm towards Elwick being removed.

“To the south of Greatham at Graythorp the so called eco-industries which involved waste management and bad neighbour uses have gone to be replaced with specialist industries otherwise known as hazardous and potentially polluting industries.

“There are no mitigating measures of environmental buffers proposed for Greatham.”

Greatham council is calling for a strategic gap between housing proposed for Claxton to help preserve its identity.

Speaking at a recent council meeting, independent Elwick councillor Hilary Thompson, said: “Residents of the Village of Greatham have heavy hearts, and worry that their lovely village will be strangled by development on all sides.

“I hope, sincerely, that they can trust planning officers and developers to keep our rural areas, which are an asset to this town, safe for future generations.”

Hartlepool Borough Council has published the final draft of the Core Strategy which will help guide all kinds of development decisions over the next 15 years.

It is currently out for consultation until March 26.

The blueprint will be examined by a Government Inspector at a public hearing later this year.

The public meeting in Greatham takes place on Tuesday, March 6, in Greatham Community Centre, Front Street, from 6pm-8pm.