Yes to former Hartlepool school site revamp

The former Brierton School site

The former Brierton School site

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PLANS to transform a former school site into leisure facilities and new housing have been given the go ahead.

Hartlepool Borough Council approved major proposals to revamp the former Brierton School site, off Catcote Road, by providing a new £600,000 3G artificial pitch, playing fields and the potential for up to 107 new houses.

Approval, subject to a legal agreement, was given by the council’s planning committee for improvement works to existing playing fields including the drainage and layout and an additional playing field.

Outline consent was also given for a single storey swimming pool to the north east of the council-run Brierton Sports Centre.

Council planners say the proposals will help to transform the former school site into a sport and leisure hub.

A report by senior planning officer Richard Trow stated: “It is considered that the proposed works will result in the retention and improvement of much of the site’s playing field area as high quality pitches along with the existing Brierton Community Sports Centre indoor facilities and the addition of a 3G artificial turf pitch.

“It is considered the proposed works will further develop Brierton as a Sports and Recreation hub.

“It is considered the proposed works will significantly improve the quality of pitch surfaces and reduce maintenance costs.”

A change of use was also granted for existing floor space from school use to office and conference use as part of the creation of an Education Development Centre.

The Football Association, which is funding the 3G pitch through the Football Foundation says it is “fully supportive” of the scheme.

The scheme will see the loss of a small amount of existing playing field, but officers say it is acceptable provided new playing pitches are ready to use before the housing development starts.

Sections of the lower school building have been flattened over the last few months along with a former swimming pool.

The council aims to use money from the sale of the land for housing will help pay for the regeneration of the wider site.

From January, the council’s Pupil Referral Unit and Educational Development Centre, both currently based at the Golden Flatts site at Seaton Lane, will relocate on the lower part of the Brierton site.