Anger as Headland promenade plea is rejected

(left to right) Steve Bell, Michael Gant, Mandy Jackson, Matthew Tucker, Nicola Crosbie and Graeme Stringer
(left to right) Steve Bell, Michael Gant, Mandy Jackson, Matthew Tucker, Nicola Crosbie and Graeme Stringer

CAMPAIGNERS behind a petition aimed at saving a historic promenade say they are “very disappointed” they were not allowed to call on councillors for support.

Experts say hundreds of homes on Hartlepool’s Headland, the historic Heugh Gun Battery, St Bega’s Primary School, the lighthouse and the memorial are under threat from coastal erosion within the next 100 years unless millions of pounds is spent on sea defences.

For more information about the campaign click the EXTERNAL LINK right

Consultants Mott MacDonald have put forward four coastal defence options, three of which include various ways of strengthening the wall.

But option four –which has angered residents – includes the partial demolition of the sea wall and promenade, adjacent to the Town Moor.

Campaigners had hoped to call on the support of councillors at a recent meeting of the full council.

But their question was rejected by Hartlepool Borough Council’s legal department.

The question was: “Will the Mayor include in the agenda of the first available meeting of full council, a vote for council members with the following motion?:

“We the members of Hartlepool Borough Council vote to have option four removed from the possible options available for consideration from the Hartlepool Coastal Defences, Hartlepool Headlands Structures study.”

Robert Price, 41, is chairman of the Stop the Heart from Being Ripped out of Hartlepool group, which set up the petition.

The dad-of-two, a lawyer, from the Headland, said: “I am very disappointed that the council’s legal section refused to allow my question to be asked.

“I am even more so that they are yet to give me any official reason or indeed any form of official communication.

“I actually think, given the opportunity, most, if not all councillors, would agree that option four is something which shouldn’t even be considered.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The council has written to Mr Price to explain why his question was not put to the full council meeting last week.

“We are currently in the first phase of consultation and it would be inappropriate for members of the full council to interfere with the process and eliminate any options at this stage.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for Mr Price and other residents to feed in their views as part of the consultation process.”

Copies of the petition are available to sign in Headland pubs and the Hartlepool Mail reception, in Wesley Square.

A letter outlining their concerns has also been sent to the consultants.

One public meeting, attended by dozens of concerned residents, has already been held at the Fishermans Arms pub, on the Headland.

Residents will also be attending a ward surgery meeting on Tuesday, August 30, at the Borough Hall between 6pm-8pm.