Former Hartlepool ambulance depot site to become executive homes

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A former ambulance depot and land is to be sold to a developer by Hartlepool council to build executive homes.

Councillors approved the sale of Briarfields, off Elwick Road, to a chosen developer after inviting tenders from interested buyers.

The council invited offers for the 4.28-acre site based on a development of 16 properties while keeping the old ambulance buildings or 18 if they were to be demolished.

It first marketed the site for sale in October last year and received six tenders from a number of different companies.

But a number of schemes put forward were rejected by the council feeling the high level of housing proposed was inappropriate given the site falls within the West Park Conservation area.

Developers were invited to submit plans again based on 16-18 homes.

The sale of the Briarfields site will make a significant contribution towards the overall capital receipts target of £7.5m

Denise Ogden, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods

The selected buyer and price of the land have been kept confidential.

But the council says the sale will make a “significant contribution” towards its overall target of £7.5 million from the sale of council land and assets.

Denise Ogden, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods stated in a report that the council could have made more from the deal if they allowed more housing to be built.

But she said: “The revised density proposals provide for a significant capital receipt whilst enabling a quality form of development complementing the surrounding properties.”

Formal planning applications still have to be made and investigations of the site done before any housing is built.

The council will receive the money from the Briarfields sale in two instalments over he next two financial years.

Ms Ogden added: “The sale of the Briarfields site will make a significant contribution towards the overall capital receipts target of £7.5m and leave an outstanding target of £0.75m to be achieved from other land sales.

“The recommended tender reflects market value of the site and is considered to be more deliverable in planning terms together with a defined timetable for the phased payment of capital receipts.”

The council bought the ambulance station several years ago from the North East Ambulance Service, which had owned it since the 1960s, as part of a plan to sell it and adjoining council-owned land for a plush new housing development.

The sale of surplus land and assets is one way the authority is trying to make more money in the wake of government funding cuts.

The Briarfields sale was approved by the council’s Finance and Policy Committee. Councillor George Springer, who sits on the committee, abstained from the vote.