Two sets of retrospective planning applications for doors and windows in a Hartlepool conservation area have been approved by councillors.
Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee went against the advice of officers to approve the doors on Grade II listed properties in Regent Street in the Headland Conservation Area.
It comes after Evolution Training, based at 27 Scarborough Street, had a retrospective application for a replacement door rejected and the new door branded ‘crude and not in keeping’ with the Church Street Conservation Area earlier this year.
The firm’s previous door had been smashed by a car in February and the company is currently appealing after enforcement action was taken.
The retrospective plans for a black composite door at a house in Regent Street and blue composite front door, frame and uPVC windows at another in Regent Street had been recommended for refusal by planning bosses.
Hartlepool Civic Society had also hit out at the number of retrospective applications submitted for ‘inappropriate’ building alterations.
However Barbara Cox, resident at one of the properties in Regent Street, said the replacement was safer and more energy efficient than the previous timber door.
She said: “It looks like wood, it’s in keeping with the area and it looks like a period door.
“It’s much more secure, it is energy efficient in that the heat loss is greatly reduced, is it water tight and does not leak like the previous door did.
“There are many period properties on the Headland and a lot of these have composite doors installed and these properties all look smart and well cared for.
“There are also properties with different doors and sadly a lot of these doors look neglected and scruffy.”
Derek Atter said there was no difference between that application and one for his property also in Regent Street, and said his windows had been approved ’30 years ago by planning officers’.
The applications had the support of councillors and were approved by the committee, overruling planning officers’ recommendations to refuse the plans for ‘detracting from the character and appearance of the Grade II listed buildings’.
Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “I do have a level of sympathy with the applicant, in my opinion the door is acceptable.
“I don’t think it’s damaging to the conservation area.”
Coun Brenda Loynes said: “I agree with what has been said, it’s absolutely fine to me, it’s energy efficient.”
Coun Tim Fleming said: “We don’t want to be causing people unrest, we don’t want them spending beyond their means.”
Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service