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D-day for new pharmacy plan on Hartlepool estate

Land next to Sainsbury's Middle Warren. Picture by FRANK REID
Land next to Sainsbury's Middle Warren. Picture by FRANK REID

Proposals for a new pharmacy on a Hartlepool estate are due to be decided this week.

Ascent Healthcare has submitted a planning application to build the pharmacy at the Middle Warren local centre.

Councillors were due to decide the plans when they met a week last Wednesday.

But it was deferred until this Wednesday so members of the Planning Committee could carry out a site visit.

The plan was also put on hold to allow officers to speak to developers behind plans to build 500 new homes to see whether a pedestrian crossing on Merlin Way, not expected for several years, could be brought forward.

The pharmacy is proposed to be built on a small plot of land south of the local centre car park off Merlin Way that is currently grass and shrubbery.

At the last meeting a resident said the pharmacy was much needed on the estate but raised concerns that there was no additional parking proposed and felt it could result in more cars parking on Merlin Way.

The car park has 34 spaces, including three reserved for disabled users.

The council’s Traffic and Transport department said it frequently gets full, a situation made worse recently by the Tall Ships pub restricting its car park to customers only.

At the last planning meeting Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “I would find it very difficult to vote against an application for a chemists.

“However, I am very concerned about highway issues. I’m hoping we can find a compromise and consideration to be given around addressing some of those issues in particular the crossing.”

The agent for the applicant warned the committee delaying the decision could impact on the pharmacy being able to open before its licence expires at the end of the year.

The planning committee will consider the application again on Wednesday. The meeting starts at 10am.