A new £18million bypass could be built to divert traffic from a picturesque village as part of big growth plans for Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council has applied for funding to create a third main route into town from the A19.
This would create a third access into Hartlepool from the A19, helping to relieve pressure and congestion from the A689 and A179Local Plan consultation document
The proposal features within the council’s proposed new Local Plan which will include policies to guide all kinds of development for the next 15 years.
A document setting out the council’s preferred approach says the road forms part of plans to improve Hartlepool’s infrastructure to support likely development, including plans for 1,200 new homes on land off Elwick Road at High Tunstall in Hartlepool.
A council spokesman said: “One of the key proposals within the Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation Document is for a bypass to the north of Elwick Village.
“The Local Plan Preferred Options document is due to go before councillors on Friday with the recommendation that it is approved and an eight week public consultation is carried out.
“We would encourage members of the public to take part in this process as the document sets out the council’s preferred policies to guide the growth of Hartlepool over the next 15 years.”
The High Tunstall development, which has still to be decided by the council, also includes plans for a new primary school and playing fields, local centre, play facilities and care home.
Its developer has reduced the number of homes from 2,000 originally to 1,200.
The Local Plan Preferred Options document states: “In order to make this development acceptable in highway terms there is a need for major improvements to the road network in the area to minimise the risk of accidents on the A19 trunk road.
“As such it is proposed to develop a new bypass to the north of Elwick village and create a new grade separated junction of the A19 at the northern Elwick access point.”
It adds: “The council recognises the significant benefits that such major infrastructure works would result in; in effect this would create a third access into Hartlepool from the A19, helping to relieve pressure and congestion from the A689 and A179 through allowing residents within the area to use this access point.
“The estimated costs of these works are between £14million and £18million.
“A bid has been made to the Local Enterprise Partnership for £18million of Local Growth Fund (LGF) money – if successful this money would be available to enable the works to start to be implemented in 2017-18.”
It adds the Local Growth Fund money is effectively a loan and would be repaid by the development as it develops over time but would ensure the bypass is in place up front.
Peter Hutchinson, chairman of Elwick Parish Council, said: “We are opposed to any new development until the bypass is sorted because the village is just inundated with traffic now.
“It is just becoming grid locked as there is nowhere else for the traffic on that road to go.
“We are already getting large vehicles using the road to get to the Quarry Farm development.”
The Local Plan also sets out policies under wide range of headings covering new housing, employment sites, retail and commercial development, and protection of Hartlepool’s heritage.