Work begins to convert former Hartlepool bakery into family homes

Pictured outside the former Andersons bakery in

Ashgrove Avenue are Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and 

Councillor Kevin Cranney.

Pictured outside the former Andersons bakery in Ashgrove Avenue are Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Councillor Kevin Cranney.

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Work could start next month to transform a Hartlepool bakery into two family homes.

The work could begin as early as April to convert the former Anderson’s Bakery, in Ashgrove Avenue, which has remained empty for over a year.

Hartlepool Borough Council is behind the scheme to develop the building previously owned by DISC Housing – a registered social landlord.

Local residents voiced concerns back in February 2015 when DISC put forward plans to convert the building into four one-bedroom flats, a communal lounge and kitchen areas, which resulted in Hartlepool Borough Council buying the property from DISC.

Planning permission could be granted by early April, which would pave the way to create two homes – one two-bedroomed and one three-bedroomed – for rent by local families.

The fully refurbished properties would be added to the council’s portfolio of homes for rent, which now exceeds 200.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of the council, said: “Through the council’s Empty Homes Strategy we are aiming to bring 60 empty properties back into use by 2018, and the former Anderson’s Bakery forms part of this plan.

“Clearly, local residents expressed concerns about DISC’s housing proposal and everyone in the area seems content with the alternative plan put forward by the council.”

Planning permission for the DISC scheme was refused at Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee, with two petitions totalling 1,673 signatures and 185 letters of objection.