A Hartlepool planning chief says a new £18m bypass of Elwick village and closure of crossings on the A19 is a necessity in order to save lives.
Councillor Rob Cook, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee, commented on the need for the major new road after the committee approved planning conditions relating to two planned developments in the High Tunstall area totalling up to 428 new homes.
As part of the conditions developers Tunstall Homes, Story Homes and Villiers Street Agriculture have agreed to pay a total of £5.1m towards the bypass.
It will divert traffic accessing the A19 around Elwick while crossings over the A19 at Elwick and Dalton Piercy will also be closed.
Councillor Cook said: “It’s a must, we have got to save lives in this particular case which requires us to close off these entrances and exits.”
Coun Cook accepted it may cause some disruption to residents but said he hoped they would understand why it was needed.
Coun Ray Martin-Wells, who represents Rural West ward where the homes and bypass are to be built, said the bypass would create a much-needed third access in and out of town.
He said: “Whilst I accept this will be inconvenient to some of my residents I think we have got to look at the bigger picture and ongoing safety of our residents.”
Coun Martin-Wells added: “I would congratulate the developers here and other developers also working towards the same ends together with our officers that we will ultimately end up with a third good quality access to Hartlepool and a much more safe passage to cross the A19 than we currently do.”
The council is trying to secure grants for the full £18m cost of the bypass and if successful the developer contributions will be used for other things.