A Hartlepool councillor has described a proposal to demolish the former Jacksons Landing shopping mall as “madness”.
Paul Thompson, who sits on the Regeneration Services Committee, which will consider the issue next week, said the plans which would cost the authority £40,000 were a “squander of the public purse”.
But the council says it will make the site more attractive to developers and seeks to build on the arrival of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in regenerating the waterfront.
Hartlepool Borough Council bought the derelict Jacksons Landing building and site in 2013 using a £1.5m interest free loan from a Government growth fund.
Coun Thompson said of the demolition plans: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace and a squander of the public purse.
“I can’t believe that the council pays nearly £1.6 million to buy a building which some councillors, myself included, were vehemently against because there was no plans in place to decide what that building was going to be.
I think it’s an absolute disgrace and a squander of the public purseCouncillor Paul Thompson
“Now, we are going to spend ‘x’ amount of pounds to flatten it, again without a plan in place.
“The council took out a loan to buy that building. They are going to knock it down while they have still got that loan in place.
“To do this is absolute madness.”
Coun Thompson said the final decision should be made by the full council adding: “I would demand as this decision to acquire Jacksons Landing was made by Full Council then the decision to demolish it should also be made by full council.”