Civic Society hits out over plans for Church Street conservation area

The new door at Evolution Training.
The new door at Evolution Training.

Three sets of retrospective plans for replacement doors and windows in a Hartlepool conservation area are recommended for rejection due to ‘detracting from the character of the area’.

Hartlepool Council Planning Committee is to make a decision on the proposals in the Church Street Conservation Area at its meeting on Wednesday.

This comes after Evolution Training, based in Scarborough Street, last month had a retrospective application for a replacement door rejected, after it was branded ‘crude and not in keeping with the area’.

Its previous door had been smashed by a car in February.

Read more: Hartlepool company replaces door after car crashes into shop front - then gets rejected for planning permission

Two applications have now been submitted by Paul Edwards for retrospective permission for metal doors at 5 Tower Street and 68 Church Street, both in the Church Street Conservation Area.

Hartlepool Civic Society has objected to the plans, and expressed concerns at the number of retrospective applications being submitted in the conservation area.

A spokesman said: “These properties are in a conservation area and the replacement should reflect the original.

“The metal doors which have already been installed are totally out of keeping with a historic area.

“Surely hardwood doors would offer a sufficient degree of security without there being metal.

“Presumably this type of premises would also have security systems fitted.

“We again can not stress too much our increasing concern with the number of retrospective applications, particularly in conservation areas which are being approved by the planning committee.”

Read more: ‘Out of character? With this town?’ – Reaction after councillors refuse planning permission for door replaced after car crash in Hartlepool

A report from planning officers states it is considered that the works ‘detract from the character and appearance of the designated heritage asset’, and recommends councillors reject the proposals.

The door for 68 Church Street is part of a three-storey building that has a decorative shop front at ground floor, while the Tower Street door is also for a shop front.

A decision is also to be made on another retrospective application for the conservation area with plans submitted for two dormer windows on the front, and four replacement windows to the side of the White House at 4 Church Square.

The plans for the commercial building, submitted by Mr J Arthur, are also recommended to be refused.

A planning report said: “No justification has been submitted in terms of public benefits of the scheme.

“The proposed has a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and locally listed building.”

The planning committee meeting will take place at the Civic Centre in Hartlepool on Wednesday at 10am.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service