Hart village housing plan rejected over flooding and overdevelopment fears

Hart homes rejected
Hart homes rejected

PLANS to build 23 houses in a quiet village on the outskirts of Hartlepool have been rejected for a second time by councillors.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee threw out the plans by Gentoo Homes to build the new estate next to the Raby Arms pub over concerns around drainage and over development.

That was despite expert engineers saying the housing development would slightly improve the drainage and flooding problems in the area.

But councillors said there was enough concern from residents over existing problems that they didn’t want to add to.

Independent councillor Keith Fisher said he didn’t believe adding more water and sewage into the existing system would improve the situation for residents, while over development concerns were also raised.

But Emma Bond, of Gentoo Homes, said: “There is no evidence of over development. The scheme has been carefully designed to provide a high quality development that is in keeping with Hart Village.”

Of the 23 houses, three were proposed to be affordable housing. The application was south of the Raby Arms car park and next to the A179 Hart bypass and included landscaping and drainage.

Ahead of the planning committee, the application had been supported by one resident but officers had also received 25 letters of objection over concerns of flooding, drainage and over development.

There were no objections from Hartlepool Water, Northumbrian Water of the Environment Agency.

Concerns were raised at the meeting as to why nobody from Northumbrian Water was at the meeting but officers said they had supplied their comments in a statement.

It was suggested by Conservative group leader, Ray Martin-Wells and Labour councillor Jim Ainslie to defer the application and invite a representative from the company to the next meeting to discuss in more detail the flooding and drainage concerns.

But committee chairman, Labour councillor Rob Cook, said members had all the information to make a decision.

After a lengthy debate, three councillors were in favour, seven against and three abstained from voting.

Gentoo Housing declined to comment and refused to say whether it would be be appealing.