Appeal over rejected Morrisons plans to create new shop unit at Hartlepool supermarket

Morrisons in Hartlepool. Picture: Google.
Morrisons in Hartlepool. Picture: Google.

An appeal has been lodged by supermarket bosses over plans to create a separate retail unit at its Hartlepool site.

Last year Hartlepool Borough Council planning bosses refused proposals from Morrisons to create a new Timpson’s store in the supermarket’s car park.

In 2016 Timpson agreed a deal with Morrisons to take over the running of its dry cleaning operations at 116 stores and offer key cutting, shoe and watch repairs, and phone and tablet repair.

The plans for the ‘Timpson at Morrisons’ would have seen seen the small unit being built in the car park of the supermarket in Clarence Road.

However, council planning bosses rejected the proposals stating they ‘would have a detrimental impact on the general character of the area’.

An appeal has now been lodged to the national Planning Inspectorate by Morrisons against the decision to refuse the development planning permission in a bid to get the ruling overturned.

The application originally was determined by officer delegation with the agreement of the chair of planning committee in July 2018 and they ruled the plans to be an ‘unacceptable form of development’.

A report from Leigh Dalby, council planning officer said: “The design of the proposed location is not of high quality or good design as it encourages users of the site to make multiple trips (albeit using a pedestrian crossing) across a busy section of the car park increasing the pedestrian and vehicle interaction risk level.

“Additionally, the development fails to make the best use of the site, the proposed development has been sited with its only active frontage facing internally within the site.

“Therefore, it is considered that the proposal is of a sufficiently poor design to warrant refusal.”

The plans were for the building to be situated 25metres east of the supermarket entrance and to be 2.7metres by 6.7metres, with a height of 2.5metres, and three car parking bays would have been lost.

Councillors are expected to authorise planning officers to contest the appeal at a meeting on Wednesday.

The Planning Inspectorate is a Government agency which deals with planning appeals after a decision has been made by local authorities.

A decision on the appeal is expected to be made in the coming months.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service