Land sale go-ahead


A DEVELOPER’S revised offer for a piece of council land has been accepted by finance chiefs ahead of an application to build houses.

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 47 houses, but that has since been reduced to 45 and remediation work also needs to be carried out due to contamination.

As a result, the developer has revised its original offer for the land and that has now been accepted by a senior councillor.

Officers say it still represents good value and was still higher than bids from elsewhere.

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.

Five of the houses would be affordable homes.

Independent councillor Paul Thompson, portfolio holder for finance and corporate services, accepted the confidential revised tender.

A council report said: “The revised tender is less than the original, but is still a higher offer than the net amounts offered by other tenderers and reflects the market value of the site.

“The receipt will make a significant contribution to the council’s overall capital receipts target of £4.5m as highlighted in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.”

Graham Frankland, assistant director of resources, added: “Because of the changes to the plan and the costs of remediation they wanted to revise the bid.

“We have had a copy of the site investigation report to make sure that the claims are bona fide, which they are.”

Coun Thompson was told the developer was bearing some of the costs themselves and that their revised offer was still higher than offers from elsewhere.

Council officers said the sale of the land was still subject to the developer securing planning permission.

Mr Frankland added: “The bid on the table now is still beneficial to the council and is still at market value.

“There is an opportunity to get a capital receipt in a difficult economic climate.”

Coun Thompson said he had received numerous letters from residents of Tanfield Road raising their concerns about the housing plans but he said that was a planning matter.

Officers said the plans met the council’s planning policy and conditions ahead of an application going before the planning committee.

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.