Plans to convert popular former Hartlepool tea room into house

John O Connor (centre) pictured with staff after the opening of  Mary Rowntree's business, (left to right) Paul Noble, Tracy Andrews, Daphne O Connor and Dennis Swales.
John O Connor (centre) pictured with staff after the opening of Mary Rowntree's business, (left to right) Paul Noble, Tracy Andrews, Daphne O Connor and Dennis Swales.

Plans have been submitted to convert a popular former tea room, which was previously a church, into a house.

Proposals have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council to convert the former Mary Rowntree’s Tearoom and Restaurant into a place of residence.

Owner John O’Connor had spent 16 years renovating the former St Andrew’s Church, on Hartlepool’s Headland, before it opened in 2012, creating 11 jobs.

The former tea room served traditional food including cream teas and sandwiches, as well as home-made scones and cakes and it also had a licensed bar.

However it has now been closed for over a year and a planning application has now been submitted by Mr O’Connor to convert the site into a single dwelling.

One comment has been received over the plans so far from a neighbour Neal Cook who raised concerns over potential noise issues.

However he said as long as action was carried out to address this they did not object to the plans.

It said: “We found that the party wall connecting both properties had not been sound proofed and we could literally hear chairs being moved around and people talking through the walls.

“My only concern regarding change of use or future developments would be for them to take the noise reduction into account and soundproof the adjoint wall.

“This would in turn prevent future issues as neighbour squabbles over noise would not only depreciate my house value, but would make it difficult for me and my three young children to put up with this again.”

He had previously contacted the council and environmental health, who sent a representative to speak to the manager and solve the problem.

The Grade-II listing building in York Place dates back to 1886 and had been derelict before being converted into a restaurant.

A decision will be made on the plans by Hartlepool Borough Council planning department in the coming months.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service