£9m contributions from new Hartlepool estate will happen says councillor

Cash contributions to Hartlepool services from developers of a massive housing scheme will be forthcoming, a councillor has said.
Land at Claxton intended to form part of the South West ExtensionLand at Claxton intended to form part of the South West Extension
Land at Claxton intended to form part of the South West Extension

Permission has been secured for about 1,200 new properties by Persimmon Homes on the South West Extension development between the A689 and Brierton Lane in Hartlepool.

Full planning permission for 144 homes on the northern part of the site was granted by Hartlepool Borough Council in January last year, along with outline permission for 1,116 dwellings.

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The development is also set to include a pub/restaurant, retail units and potential primary school.

An update on financial contributions totalling £9 million towards education, sports facilities and transport improvements was received by the council’s Planning Committee.

Jim Ferguson, council planning team leader, said: “The relevant consultees like education, sports and recreation, highways have been heavily involved.

“There has been a lot of tooing and froing to agree triggers with those consultees and the applicant that are acceptable to everybody.”

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Planning Committee member Councillor Ray Martin-Wells said: “There have been some concerns that possibly the contributions wouldn’t be forthcoming, but I think we’ve made it very clear today our officers have worked very hard to make sure the developers will be paying what they’ve agreed to at the point that various trigger points are triggered such as occupation of certain amount of houses.”

He added the committee previously reduced the number of homes on the site from about 2,500 units to 1,200 units amid concerns of ‘land banking’ with developers gaining permission but not actually building on sites.

“I think we would end up with a shortage of properties in Hartlepool if that was the case,” said Coun Martin-Wells. The contributions include £4.5m to primary education, which could include a new primary school being built, £2m to secondary education places, £1.5m for a new bus service.