Councillors to discuss next stage in ‘son of local plan’ for Hartlepool

Damien Wilson
Damien Wilson

COUNCILLORS will meet this week to discuss the next stage of a major planning blueprint which sparked outrage after the original plans were scrapped.

Planning officers at Hartlepool Borough Council are currently working on proposals for the new Local Plan which is a 15-year framework for town development.

Members of the regeneration services committee will meet ahead of a proposed eight week public consultation on the initial plans.

Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director of regeneration, said the “issues and options” document is the first stage in the production of a new plan for Hartlepool.

Mr Wilson, in a council report, said: “The aim of this stage is to seek public thoughts and open the debate on what kind of place residents, businesses and all other stakeholders want Hartlepool to be in the future.

“Specifically it will focus on the most appropriate locations for development to occur over the next 15 years.

“This stage of the plan does not rely on any of the evidence based pieces of work being completed as it is simply seeking the public’s and interested parties thoughts and input into the process.

“The focus and aim of this document is to provide as many viable issues and options on the future development of Hartlepool as possible and then to seek the view of stakeholders.”

This stage will help “shape” the preferred options document which senior officers say is currently timetabled to be produced by January 2015.

The issues and options document covers six themes – housing, strengthening the local economy, regeneration, developing a sustainable community, enhancing the environment and improving connectivity.

The cost and timescale has caused controversy since the last one, which took five years to produce at a cost of £1.5m, was axed after a majority of councillors backed a Labour Group motion.

Some objectors say the new plans could take up to three years and cost an extra £700,000 but council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher previously insisted the blueprint would cost around £250,000.

Councillors meet on Thursday at 9.30am at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.