Delight as council throws out plans for new houses on edge of Hartlepool

The entrance to one of the sites proposed for housing.
The entrance to one of the sites proposed for housing.

TWO housing developments of almost 200 new homes have been thrown out by councillors in a victory for residents.

Two developers applied for permission in principle to build 110 new homes on land at Tunstall Farm, off Valley Drive in West Park, and up to 81 executive properties off Elwick Road at Quarry Farm.

Both had been recommended for approval by Hartlepool Borough Council officers to help meet the town’s five-year housing supply.

But the council’s planning committee yesterday rejected both applications to the delight of residents who had objected in their hundreds.

Concerns over flooding in Valley Drive at the entrance to the Tunstall Farm site and elsewhere in West Park led to the unanimous refusal by councillors.

Councillor Robbie Payne said flood risk issues identified back in 2003 had not been properly addressed.

“We could potentially have residents of Hartlepool at risk of flooding and we as an authority are aiding and abetting that by not doing what we are supposed to,” he said.

John Foster of Taylor Wimpey for the Tunstall Farm site said the plans would help solve flooding by directing surface water away through new drainage.

But Fran Johnson, who objected on behalf of residents, said flooding had been a problem in the area for over 30 years and previous attempts to solve it had failed.

She added flooding at the entrance to Tunstall Farm would prevent access to emergency service vehicles.

The council received a total of 168 objections also citing urban sprawl on greenbelt land, not enough school places and disturbance.

Plans by Villiers Street Agriculture, for up to 81 homes at Quarry Farm, near Naisberry Park were also refused amid concerns over traffic and access issues after attracting over 1,000 objections from residents.

Rural West ward councillor Brenda Loynes said: “There are great concerns as the only access is Elwick Road which is already extremely busy.”

After the meeting Mrs Johnson said: “I’m delighted that the elected members saw we had sufficient grounds to object to both of these developments. I think residents will start to feel their lives are getting back to normal as this has caused them many months, if not years, of serious concerns.”