Houses bid still in the spotlight

DEVELOPMENT: The Tanfield Road site, in Hartlepool.
DEVELOPMENT: The Tanfield Road site, in Hartlepool.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 45 new houses on land next to a cemetery will be discussed by councillors next month.

Gleeson Homes is looking to build the new housing estate on the former Hartlepool Borough Council depot in Tanfield Road, next to Stranton Cemetery.

The original plan was for 48 houses, but that has since been reduced to 45 and remediation work is also needed because of contamination.

If planning consent is eventually granted, the development is expected to be a range of “traditional” two-storey semi-detached and detached houses of two, three and four bedrooms with five of the houses classed as affordable homes.

There have been 21 letters of objection from residents with concerns about the access being onto Tanfield Road, noise and disturbance, the number of new houses and concerns Tanfield Road will be used for parking.

Objectors also say traffic from funerals should be respected and fear the character of the area would be lost.

The sale of the land is still subject to the developer securing planning permission.

Because of the remediation work that needs to be carried out the developer revised its original offer for the land, which was accepted by the council recently.

The confidential revised tender, accepted by independent councillor Paul Thompson, portfolio holder for finance and corporate services, was still good value and higher than bids from elsewhere, according to council officers.

A planning report said: “A number of amendments have now been made to the layout and the scheme will now be considered for the erection of 45 dwellings with associated works.

“Due to the shape of the site the layout has been arranged along a central access road with one small cul de sac.

“The site will be accessed from the north only via Tanfield Road directly opposite the Stranton Nursery retail unit.”

Officers say the development will include two-storey family homes with a range of homes from two-bedroom semi-detached houses to four-bedroom detached, all of which will have gardens and private parking.

A small area of open space has been included in the design with landscaping and planting throughout and the existing concrete post and mesh fencing which separates the site from the cemetery will be removed and replaced with timber fencing.

The application was originally due before the council’s planning committee last week. But it was deferred until Wednesday, March 6 for a site visit in the morning.

In recent years, the three-acre Tanfield Road site has been put to various uses, including plant cultivation for the nursery and parks, storage for vehicles and equipment and parking for graveyard and parks and countryside staff.