Developers fight council over rejected plans for 110 new homes in Hartlepool

The entrance to the site of Valley Drive where there are plans for 110 new houses
The entrance to the site of Valley Drive where there are plans for 110 new houses

DEVELOPERS will seek to overturn a council’s refusal of plans to build up to 110 new homes in Hartlepool.

Proposals for the development on land at Tunstall Farm, off Valley Drive in West Park area, were thrown out by councillors in September.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee went against their officers’ recommendation and unanimously refused permission due to concerns around flooding, particularly at the entrance to the site.

But the applicants, Taylor Wimpey, who said the scheme would help meet Hartlepool’s five-year housing supply, have launched an appeal which will be heard in January.

Councillor Robbie Payne said at September’s meeting that 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.

And residents’ spokesman Fran Johnson 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 services vehicles.

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

More than 160 people objected to the proposals citing urban sprawl on greenbelt land, not enough school places and disturbance.

An indicative layout of the development showed housing areas divided into three blocks and public open spaces and a number of play areas.

Another application by other developers for 81 homes at Quarry Farm, near Naisberry Park, will also take place in January, after being refused by councillors at the same planning meeting.

Both developments lie outside Hartlepool’s designated development limits.

But council officers previously said that was outweighed by the need to provide more housing.

A two-day inquiry to decide that application will be held at Hartlepool Civic Centre on January 22 and 23.

The sites at Tunstall Farm and nearby Quarry Farm were also both removed from the council’s last Local Plan before it was scrapped.