15-year Hartlepool planning blueprint set to be accepted by council

David Spencer headed the Hartlepool Borough Local Plan (2016) Examination at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
David Spencer headed the Hartlepool Borough Local Plan (2016) Examination at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

A major planning blueprint to guide developments in Hartlepool for the next 15 years is expected to be adopted by council chiefs.

The new Hartlepool Local Plan includes policies covering everything from new housing, jobs growth, infrastructure, retail and commercial development, tourism and wind turbines.

Government appointed inspector David Spencer spent around two weeks hearing evidence from council officials and other stakeholders at Hartlepool College of Further Education last September.

He has now produced his final report in which he says the plan is legally sound subject to a number of modifications.

The council’s Regeneration Services Committee yesterday agreed to put the final plan to the full council next Tuesday to formally adopt it.

The council’s current local plan dates back to 2006.

Matthew King, the council’s planning policy team leader, said: “The final report concludes that subject to the inspector’s main modifications the local plan provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the borough”.

He added: “The council requested that the inspector make any main modifications that are necessary to rectify matters that make the plan unsound.

“Those main modifications therefore make the plan sound and suitable for adoption.”

Councillors on the regeneration committee praised officers for the level of work done on the local plan.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of the committee, said Hartlepool was “ahead of the game” compared to other local authorities in the Tees Valley area.

He said: “Well done to all the staff. I know this has been a long, long process.

“I think you have done an excellent job considering that the planning inspector found it sound and very few main modifications.”

Coun Leisa Smith, of Seaton Carew ward, said residents were disappointed that Brenda Road had been earmarked for up to four wind turbines.

She said: “People in Seaton will not support them on Brenda Road.

“I am not against turbines, I just don’t agree with where they are being put.”

Coun Jim Lindridge said his only concern was around how a southern access road as part of a South West Extension would connect to Moffat Road.

Council officers said both the turbines and access road would require planning permission before happening when concerns could be addressed.

Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “The amount of work to get to this point is absolutely colossal.

“It’s one of the biggest things we have ever done.”