Crazy golf plans spark outrage in Seaton Carew as neighbours prepare to do battle with Hartlepool developers

The view out to the North Sea viewed from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID
The view out to the North Sea viewed from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

Residents of Seaton Carew are opposing the location of a proposed crazy golf course.

A ten-hole course surrounded by a fence almost 6ft-high is planned to be built on The Cliff.

The land across the road from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

The land across the road from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

Councillors will decide whether planning permission should be granted at a meeting next Wednesday, February 7.

It aims to complement £1.3m of regeneration works being carried out by Hartlepool Borough Council along the sea front.

But residents say it is in the wrong place.

They say the application goes against the council’s own 2006 and emerging Local Plans which designate the site as protected green space, the loss of which will generally be resisted.

The view out to the North Sea viewed from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

The view out to the North Sea viewed from The Cliff Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

They also say the scale of the golf development with 6ft-high fencing and a large cabin will harm Seaton’s conservation area, which is a designated heritage asset and is also protected by council policy.

There is also concern as the golf course will only occupy around a third of the site seeking planning permission.

A letter by solicitors Ward Hadaway acting on behalf of the residents says: “If this application were to be approved, this could set a precedent for further commercial development to come forward on surrounding parcels of green space further eroding the character and appearance of the area.”

Seaton councillor Leisa Smith said: “Residents aren’t against a crazy golf course as such, they think it’s a great idea and will tie in with the regeneration scheme, it’s just where they plan to put it.”

Coun Smith said it is in a residential area of the sea front not a commercial one.

She added: “Residents would still like to have their sea view which is what they bought their houses for.

“A lot of their contracts state they will have unrestricted sea views.

“A 6ft fence is going to obstruct the view of the beach and skyline.”

Coun Smith said people want to see a course built behind Seaton Clock Tower where there was one previously and for the intended location to be made into a village green.

Other concerns include an increase in traffic and on-street car parking.

Local residents attended a meeting to talk about the proposed development and have raised £700 to fight it, including getting a solicitor to act on their behalf.

A model of Hartlepool’s HMS Trincomalee measuring around 30ft long and almost 6ft in height is proposed as part of the course as well as a miniature museum building.

The council invited tenders to submit plans for a crazy golf course on the land last year.

The designs up for consideration have been prepared by Loftman Leisure Ltd, of Hartlepool.

A report to the council’s planning committee states it has the support of the authority’s economic regeneration team.

It states: “The location of the crazy golf course adjacent to the council’s outdoor leisure park will create a hub of attractions that will draw visitors to the area which will in turn support the many businesses and jobs located around The Front.

“The crazy golf course is located on dedicated leisure space at The Front and previous public consultations of the Seaton Masterplan confirmed strong backing of new leisure uses to be located in this area.”

The height of the fence is designed to prevent golf balls leaving the course.