Cabinet agrees to release covenant

COUNCILLORS have agreed to release a covenant to allow a multi-million pound home and leisure development to go ahead.

The £7m scheme, which will initially create up to 30 jobs, is to be built at the Mayfair Centre, at Tees Road, in Seaton Carew, Hartlepool.

The plans include state-of-the-art “air dome” sports facilities, 244 new houses and family golf course.

In 2003, Hartlepool Borough Council sold 21 acres of land at the site subject to covenants restricting the use to outdoor recreation and sports pitches.

Cabinet members met yesterday to approve the release of the covenant to allow for housing on the site.

In return, the local authority will receive payments over 15 years plus a share of the future profits of the business.

The terms of the deal are confidential but senior officers say the council could be in line for a substantial seven figure sum.

Mayor Stuart Drummond, who said it is an “exciting” time for Seaton, said: “An option for the sale of the whole site including the Mayfair Centre and adjoining land sold by the council has been agreed.

“In order to fund the development the new purchaser wishes to sell the land originally owned by the council for residential development and the income used to undertake the leisure development.

“In order to sell the land for residential development the council have to agree to the release of the covenants for which compensation is payable.”

Independent councillor Cath Hill, who represents the Seaton ward, said: “It will be really good for Seaton that there is going to be something else to do other than enjoy a quick walk on the beach and a bag of chips.

“It is incumbent upon us to get the best possible deal and having read the confidential papers it seems as though the officers have done a great job.”

The two domes will house six five-a-side football pitches and interactive golf challenges.

Last month the planning committee backed the plans which will see 244 homes built by Persimmon Homes in partnership with the scheme developer, Hartlepool entrepreneur Brian Morton.

Independent councillor Hilary Thompson added: “All members were very keen at planning and the developer was also very enthusiastic.”

Work is expected to start soon and the aim is to have the leisure complex ready in time for the Olympics in July.