Car boot plan is rejected

Brian Morton
Brian Morton

PLANS to hold a car boot sale near an industrial estate have been narrowly rejected by councillors.

Paul Hopper was looking to stage the weekly car boot sale on land close to the Tofts Farm Industrial Estate, next to the Mayfair Centre, in Tees Road, Hartlepool.

But councillors rejected the plans after a lengthy debate over concerns about parking and access issues.

Planning committee members were worried visitors would park on the busy Tees Road which could lead to an accident or that they would use a narrow emergency access road for access to the site, which emergency services had objected to.

The plans were thrown out by eight votes to six.

Mr Hopper used to own the Mayfair Centre and would regularly hold car boot sales on the land before it was sold recently to Seaton Leisure, which is turning the site into a new leisure development including “air domes” which will be used as an indoor five-a-side football facility.

The car boot sales at the Mayfair Centre used to attract up to 40 sellers and up to 300 people.

The plan was to move it to a stretch of recently cleared land that used to hold car boot sales, next to the Mayfair Centre site.

Brian Morton, of Seaton Leisure, objected to the plans and claimed parking issues would lead to “utter chaos”.

Speaking after the decision, Mr Hopper said: “Clearly we are disappointed.

“It was quite a close vote and I am disappointed for the people that used to go to the car boot sale because they will be disappointed to lose the facility.”

Mr Hopper applied to Hartlepool Borough Council for permission to carry out engineering works to provide a level surface in order to stage car boot sales on the site.

He said Seaton Carew needed a weekly car boot sale and it would help boost the local economy by bringing in visitors.

Mr Hopper told members that visitors could park on the roads in the industrial estate and said he believed that was sufficient to meet the demand and he would encourage sellers and visitors to enter via Brenda Road.

But committee members said there were no guarantees that would happen.

Mr Morton added: “It will be utter chaos and I would please urge you to refuse this application.”

Independent councillor Keith Fisher said: “Your average punter will park as near to the site as they can, I can see nothing but mayhem.”

Several councillors were in favour, including Labour councillor Robbie Payne and Conservative group leader Ray Wells who said he didn’t foresee massive problems.

But members agreed with the planning officers recommendation to refuse.

Speaking before the vote, Labour councillor and committee chair, Rob Cook, said: “When we have the response from the police and the fire service and they both say quite categorically that they do object because in there professional opinion this will cause problems, we should be taking notice.”