Plans to build hundreds of seaside homes on former Hartlepool eyesore move a step closer

Steetley Pier
Steetley Pier

MAJOR plans to build hundreds of homes on the former eyesore Steetley site could soon move a step closer with land owners in discussions with developers.

The site, off Old Cemetery Road, Hartlepool, was plagued by arsonists and trespassers until work to remove the dangerous structures, buildings and rubble ahead of a £100m housing development.

The former chemical works site is now clear ahead of construction work. No date has been set but owners Starford anticipate a sale in the “foreseeable future”.

Starford has outline planning permission for 484 luxury seaview homes across four pieces of land.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee met recently to agree to amendments to the terms and conditions for the disposal of a stretch of land at Central Park, which will be used as an access road.

Damien Wilson, assistant director of regeneration, said: “Since November 2011, the two largest sites have been cleared and remediated and Starford are in talks with a house-builder in relation to sale and re-development of the site.

“Starford do therefore anticipate a sale of the first two sites in the foreseeable future, although agreement has not yet been reached between them and the council’s engineers in relation to coastal erosion prevention measures.”

One of the conditions of the planning approval is that a new access road is provided across council owned land from West View Road to Old Cemetery Road, which requires part of Central Park.

Negotiations took place and in November 2011 approval was given by the then portfolio holder to the sale of land at Central Park, together with the release of restrictive covenants, to Starford.

Since then, there have been further detailed contract negotiations but contracts have not yet been exchanged.

Officers say amendments have been agreed to the original confidential contract terms, to enhance the council’s position and reflect the time which has passed since the original heads of terms were agreed. The timescale for the new road is linked to the new development.

The Mail launched the Sort Out Steetley campaign in 2007 in a bid to have the desolate site made secure after children began using it as an “adventure playground”.