Hartlepool Counci urged to block new homes
National road chiefs has advised Hartlepool planning chiefs not to allow any new development near to Elwick village until A19 junction safety concerns have been solved.
Highways England has issued the formal advice to Hartlepool Borough Council concerning the north and south Elwick junctions and one at Dalton Piercy.
There have been numerous serious road accidents - including fatalities - at the junctions over the years and there are plans for more than 1,600 new homes in the area.
The council is proposing to create an £18 million bypass north of Elwick with new raised junctions as part of its new Local Plan.
A Highways England spokesperson said: “In April 2016 we advised Hartlepool Borough Council of our opinion that it would be unsafe to allow any further developments impacting on three junctions on the A19 near Elwick to go ahead before improvements at this location are put in place.
“We are working with Hartlepool Borough Council and the Combined Authority to develop proposals that will address the safety concerns relating to right hand turns and queuing traffic on the A19.”
Council planning officer Andrew Carter told the last meeting of the council’s Regeneration Services Committee that the Highways Agency had put a ‘holding directive’ on any new development in the area.
He said there had been widespread support for an Elwick bypass during consultation of the council’s Local Plan preferred options.
The council has applied to the Local Enterprise Partnership for £18 million of Local Growth Fund money for the bypass.
Most of the money is expected to be repaid by the housing developers over time.
Plans for three separate housing developments off Elwick Road near High Tunstall are currently pending a decision by the council.
The largest is for 1,200 homes on land south of Elwick Road while another is phase two of a Quarry Farm development by Cecil M Yuill Ltd for 220 homes on land between Elwick Road and Worset Lane.
And Story Homes has submitted proposals to build 153 new homes, also on land south of Elwick Road, as part of a hybrid planning application for up to 208 homes.
The developer says it will make an important contribution to the district’s housing supply and bring a number of benefits to the local community, including public open space and improved pedestrian and cycle links.
Bellway Homes are currently progressing with Elwick Rise, an 80-home development, also off Elwick Road near High Tunstall, behind the Naisberry Park housing estate.