Hartlepool housing plan blocked over fears for medieval remains

Land between Hart Lane (left) and Worset Lane.
Land between Hart Lane (left) and Worset Lane.

PROPOSALS to create housing plots on top of the buried remains of a medieval village have been blocked.

Developers sought permission to create seven self build plots on land off Worset Lane and Hart Lane, on the outskirts of Hartlepool.

But planning councillors yesterday refused permission after objections from around 90 nearby residents.

One of the residents’ major objections was it could damage remains of a medieval village which is classed as a deserted medieval village listed monument.

Other worries included plans for the removal of part of an ancient stone wall and mature hedgerow to widen the road and potential years of disruption.

Representing the objectors Worset Lane resident Mike O’Hare said: “The effect on adjacent properties will be loss of privacy, noise, dust, smell and vibrations.”

Councillor Paul Beck

Councillor Paul Beck

He added the digging of half metre deep archeological trenches did not show the true history of the area.

“More investigation is needed,” Mr O’Hare said.

But Tees Archeology said while the remains were of local or regional importance, it was not enough to need preserving.

Speaking on behalf of the developers Stephen Litherland said: “This site is sustainable. It is close to existing services and facilities at Wiltshire Way.

Until you find things you don’t know what is actually there

Councillor Marjorie James

“The principle of the development is clearly acceptable in policy terms.”

The residents also had the support of Hart ward councillor Paul Beck.

Coun Beck told the meeting: “I believe we are sending out the wrong message to residents in this town when we would be destroying what is a historical site.”

Coun Geoff Lilley said he was happy with the advice of council officers about the archeological impact.

He added: “I would argue self-build developments need to be supported in towns like Hartlepool where we see developers basically running carte blanche and building homes they want as opposed to what people want to live in.”

But Coun Marjorie James said: “Until things are found, which could dramatically change its position, you don’t know what is actually there.”

Coun James added she was concerned about the effect the development would have on the area’s biodiversity.

She said: “I can’t support an application that rips out a historic hedge in the way this is going to do.”

Councillors refused by eight votes to two.