Medieval remains row over Hartlepool housing plans


RESIDENTS are calling for plans for new housing to be blocked to protect important medieval remains.

Objectors say Hartlepool could be “robbed” of a valuable heritage site if permission for seven self-build plots are granted by councillors.

Agents Leebell Developments are seeking outline planning permission for Bellway Homes for the creation of seven self-build plots on land at Worset Lane, between Hart and High Throston, in Hartlepool.

But residents say the site is home to a deserted medieval village listed monument and should be protected.

There are is also anger about plans to remove a stretch of mature hedge and dry stone wall to widen the road.

Worset Lane resident Mike O’Hare said an archeological survey carried out by the developers did not go deep enough to show the true extent of its historic value.

He said: “We have an ancient listed heritage site here but it’s not protected because it is not a Scheduled Monument and for that reason it hasn’t had a full archeological survey.

“Hartlepool could be robbed of a valuable heritage site for our future generations because nobody is prepared to really survey this and go down to the depths which would reveal its true archeology.”

Tees Archeology says trench evaluations submitted as part of the application show well preserved remains of track ways, pits, ditches and gullies but no structural remains were found.

They recommend the site is subjected to further archeological recording before development goes ahead.

Council officers are recommending the application is approved subject to conditions as it will help to meet the town’s five-year housing land supply.

But Mr O’Hare added it will not contribute to the need for affordable homes as Bellway plans to market the homes for executive homes and there is no time limit on when the new houses would be built.

He said: “After completion of the preparation of the site the developers will be long gone, leaving a headache for the community, the plot buyers and probably the council because what we’ll witness is a building site left for years.”

The application is due to be decided at a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, at Hartlepool Civic Centre.