Housing row bakery cost Hartlepool council £118,000

The former Andersons Bakery (left)
The former Andersons Bakery (left)

The cost to the council of buying a former bakery at the centre of controversial plans has been revealed as £118,000.

Hartlepool Borough Council bought the old Anderson’s Bakery at the corner of Ashgrove Avenue and Windermere Road, in Foggy Furze, last year.

It bought the building from the regional charity Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (Disc) which had planned to turn it into social housing.

That plan sparked fears from local residents that it could be used to house alcoholics, drug addicts and ex-criminals, although the charity denied high-risk individuals would be placed there.

The cost to the council to buy the former bakery was revealed in response to a question by member of the public Fred Corbett, submitted to the last full council meeting.

Mr Corbett asked the council to give the costs to date for the purchase, refurbishment, legal and architectural fees, and when work was likely to be completed.

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, vice chairman of the Regeneration Services Committee, said the cost of the building was £118,000.

He said the refurbishment, legal and architectural costs had all been done in house to keep costs down, but no figures were given.

Coun Akers-Belcher added: “We also have a planning application for the conversion of the premises into two housing units.”

Councillor Paul Thompson asked for guidance from Peter Devlin the council’s chief solicitor about divulging previously confidential details to the public.

Mr Devlin said the cost of the bakery had since become available through the Land Registry and said cases would be determined on an individual basis.

A planning application by Disc for the former bakery for four, one-bedroom flats was rejected by the council’s planning committee last February, on the grounds of increased fear of crime.

Two petitions totalling 1,673 signatures and 185 letters of objection were tabled.

Although Disc Housing signalled its intention to appeal, it subsequently agreed to sell the property to the council and the sale was completed in August.