Villagers to voice plan concerns

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PARISH councillors fear their community will be squeezed on all sides by proposals in a future planning blueprint.

Greatham Parish Council is worried about the potential impact of Hartlepool Borough Council’s new core strategy, which will shape major development policies for the next 15 years, will have on the village.

Chairman Brian Walker says the strategy will affect Greatham and south Fens more than any other community in Hartlepool with proposals for up to 1,750 new homes at Claxton on one side of the village, and potentially polluting industry on the other.

Councillor Walker said: “As a rural community we are getting pinched between two different sides of the urban environment.

“We are becoming a little oasis trying to remain a village in the middle of an area that is starting to envelope us.”

The parish council voiced its concerns over the core strategy at a special meeting tonight.

And they have called a public meeting for Monday night for the rest of the community to have their say.

Councillor Walker added: “We have been in negotiation with the council planners, but we don’t have anyone to represent us on the cabinet which approves the core strategy.

“We really just want to make sure we are being heard because sometimes we feel as a small community we are not really being listened to.”

Councillor Walker said as well as the housing plans at Claxton, Graythorpe had been highlighted for any new “hazardous and potentially polluting industry”.

He said the village already had the Tioxide chemical plant and nuclear power station on the doorstep.

He also stressed the need for a “strategic gap” to cushion Greatham and south Fens from the impact of such developments.

Tonight’s public meeting will be held at Greatham Community Centre, Front Street, at 6.30pm.