Developers WILL build new homes on Hartlepool farm after winning appeal

New homes are set to be built on Quarry Farm.
New homes are set to be built on Quarry Farm.

DEVELOPERS have won permission to build 81 new homes on the outskirts of Hartlepool after an appeal.

The scheme, on land at Quarry Farm, off Elwick Road, was rejected by Hartlepool Borough Council last September amid road safety and crime fears.

But the decision has been overturned after developers Villiers Street Agricultural appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

State-appointed inspector Karen Baker held a two-day public inquiry at Hartlepool Civic Centre on January 22 and 23.

Councillors went against a recommendation of their own officers when they refused outline planning permission.

The development, near Naisberry Park, attracted more than 1,000 objections from residents.

One main reason for refusal was safety fears from extra traffic in Elwick Road, where access to the development will be off, and at the junction of the A19 and Coal Lane, at Elwick Village, where there has been numerous accidents.

The other was the impact the new houses would have on neighbouring homes and the potential for more anti-social behaviour, crime and the fear of crime.

Ms Baker said she acknowledged the council’s and local people’s concerns about the A19.

But she said in her decision: “Nevertheless, even if the proposal resulted in the worst case scenario presented by the appellants of one additional accident every 10 years, I do not consider such a small increase would be material, and certainly would not present a severe impact in the context of The Framework (Government guidance).”

Regarding anti-social behaviour many residents told of problems in the area with stone-throwing, graffiti and setting fires.

Seven incidents were reported by the council to police between April 2012 and July 2014.

But the developers said that accounted for just one per cent of such reports in the whole ward, and only 0.049 per cent of all crime in Hartlepool, between November 2013 and October 2014.

The developers added design features could be built into the new development to help prevent anti social behaviour.

Ms Baker said: “Although of great concern to local residents, the proportion of reported crime and anti-social behaviour within the vicinity of the appeal site is extremely low in the context of both the Rural West Ward and Hartlepool as a whole.

“I conclude, therefore, that the proposed development would not harm the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers, with particular reference to anti social behaviour, crime and the fear of crime.

“I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.”