Hundreds object to housing plans at Tunstall Farm

The entrance to the site of Valley Drive where there are plans for 200 new houses
The entrance to the site of Valley Drive where there are plans for 200 new houses

PROPOSALS for two new housing developments comprising around 200 new homes on the edge of Hartlepool are due to be decided by councillors this week.

Developers are seeking permission for the housing schemes on two sites which both lie outside Hartlepool’s designated development limits.

The sites at Tunstall Farm and nearby Quarry Farm were also both removed from the council’s last Local Plan before the whole document was scrapped.

But last year a Government-appointed planning inspector said the Tunstall Farm site was appropriate for around 100 houses and Quarry Farm for more than 50.

And now the council says it needs to find more sites, to show it can meet housing demand for the next five years, and councillors are being urged to grant both applications permission, subject to conditions.

But the applications have prompted a combined total of 389 objections from residents.

Just some of the concerns include urban sprawl encroaching on the countryside, the impact on local wildlife, schools in the area being over-subscribed and flooding and drainage worries.

Taylor Wimpey has lodged an application for permission in principle for up to 110 houses at Tunstall Farm. Access would be off Valley Drive.

Planning papers state: “The indicative layout shows the housing areas divided into three blocks by two retained hedgerows and areas identified as public open spaces.

“An area of public open space will also be retained at the western and eastern edges of the site.

“It is also indicated that three play areas will be provided across the site.”

The houses are expected to be three, four and five-bed properties.

The council officer’s report adds: “It is considered that the need to deliver additional housing in order to help meet the five-year supply holds substantially greater weight than the need to restrict development beyond the urban fence.”

The second application which will be decided is for 81 homes on land at Quarry Farm, on the edge of Naisberry Park, Elwick Road.

The application for outline permission is from Villiers Street Agriculture, but has received 221 objections.

It is being recommended for approval.

The council report states: “The proposed outline application is considered acceptable, subject to the completion of a legal agreement, secure developer contributions and obligations and subject to conditions.”

Both applications are due to be decided by the planning committee on Wednesday.

The meeting at Hartlepool Civic Centre is open to the public and takes place at 10.30am.