Houses planned for library site

The former Foggy Furze library on Stockton Road.
The former Foggy Furze library on Stockton Road.

NEW houses are set to be built on the site of a former library.

Foggy Furze Library, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, closed at the end of March last year and has since been demolished and the site cleared.

It was always intended to market the site for housing and now bosses at Hartlepool Borough Council have confirmed it has been sold to Persimmon Homes.

The deal is still subject to some conditions, including the granting of planning permission.

Christine Cooper, sales director for Persimmon Homes, said: “We’re delighted that we’re the council’s preferred bidder for the old Foggy Furze Library site in Hartlepool and look forward to finalising our planning proposals.”

It has not yet been revealed how much the developer paid for the site or how many houses will be built on the site.

Bosses at Persimmon Homes say at this stage of the planning process they are unable to give specific details as they are subject to change.

The council received interest in the Foggy Furze Library site from six different organisations after it was put up for sale last year.

A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that the council has sold the Foggy Furze site to Persimmon Homes subject to some conditions, including the granting of planning permission for houses.”

The popular library, which served the community for 60 years, was forced to close its doors for the last time due to council budget cuts.

Council chiefs say the move saved the local authority £47,536.

After it closed the spacious Victorian building was used by property management firm Ad Hoc, which signed a deal to look after the site while the local authority decided what to do with the building.

Tenants, known as “guardians”, lived in the library and paid just £45 a week.

The idea was they deterred thieves and vandals from targeting empty buildings with the council paying for all utility bills, rates and essential repairs.

Officers said the arrangement was cheaper than paying a security firm.