Work to start on £1.3million regeneration of seafront with beach huts, waterplay park and facelift

Artist imprtession of the future of Seaton Carew.
Artist imprtession of the future of Seaton Carew.

A £1.3 million regeneration of Seaton Carew’s seafront with beach huts and a children’s waterplay park is due to start next month.

Hartlepool Borough Council is planning to carry out a series of improvement works to revitalise the area including repairs to Seaton’s art-deco clock tower.

A new water play area planned for Seaton Carew

A new water play area planned for Seaton Carew

Detailed planning applications for a major part of the scheme have been submitted by the council for phases one and two of its Seaton Carew Masterplan.

Phase One includes removing the paddling pool and creating a new children’s play area and water jets, and installing a row of beach huts looking out to sea.

It also includes improvement works to the grade-listed clock tower and bus shelter to help improve visitors’ impression of Seaton Carew on arrival.

Hartlepool Borough Council has received £600,000 from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund towards the works plus £100,000 from Able UK.

The Clock Tower, at the Bus Station. Seaton Carew. FRANK REID

The Clock Tower, at the Bus Station. Seaton Carew. FRANK REID

The council says it plans to start work in October.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of the council’s regeneration committee, said: “The scheme is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to Seaton Carew and I am sure that the improvements will be welcomed by residents and visitors to the town.

“We are aiming to complete the work by spring next year so that the new amenities are in place for the start of the summer season.”

The council has had to redraw part of their masterplan proposals after it failed to get a Compulsory Purchase Order to demolish the derelict Longscar Centre.

A planned market place and events area has had to be removed from the plans.

Permission is also sought for Phase 2 works including a planned extension of the refurbishment of the car park next to the Longscar Centre.

Regarding the paddling pool area, an updated design and access statement says: “The intended use of the site has not changed from the previously approved scheme, the intention remains to improve the promenade area for residents and visitors through the provision of new facilities and an enhanced hard and soft landscape.

“The new facilities include a children’s play area, a waterplay area and a picnic area, as well as new seating areas and linking pathways.

“The proposed beach huts are intended to provide a seasonal facility for visitors to the beach.

“The beach huts will be managed and maintained by an external operator.

Each unit will have electricity and water connections, with small kitchen area and seating area internally.”

The council says maintaining the current paddling pool is problematic to manage, and often has to be closed and cleaned due to rubbish.

The design statement adds: “The proposed water play feature introduces water jet systems which are user activated through pressure pads.

“The variable jet timings mean that water use is sporadic, not continuous, saving water and providing a more interactive experience for users.

“The proposed improvements to the setting of the listed art-deco Clock Tower and Bus Shelter are intended to provide an enhanced public space and gateway feature for the main southern access into Seaton Carew.”

People can comment now on the proposals on the planning section of the council’s website www.hartlepool.gov.uk

Search for the planning application reference number H/2017/0471.

Plans changed after Longscar Centre hearing

Hartlepool council says the retention of the Longscar Centre has significantly affected its plans to open up the whole promenade.

The Government rejected a compulsory purchase plan by the local authority following a three-day public inquiry last year.

The building’s owners said they had their own plans to redevelop it into holiday flats and units, including a trampoline centre and bar.

The council’s design and access statement says: “The required retention of the Longscar Centre significantly impacts on the ability to open the area up physically and visually.

“It is unfortunate that the required retention of the Longscar Centre limits the scheme’s ability to open out the promenade, offering a more cohesive promenade running from the coach park to Newburn Bridge car park, and opening out views towards Redcar and Saltburn.

“The main changes to the masterplan involve the removal of the market place/events area from the scheme, as this was to be located on the site of the Longscar Centre, and the removal of the car park expansion into a subsequent phase of works (due to the physical impact of retaining the Longscar Centre as part of the site footprint was to be incorporated into the car park works).”