HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond said it is “encouraging” to see the amount of developer interest in three council-owned sites at a popular seaside resort.
Earlier this year Hartlepool Borough Council asked developers to submit expressions of interest to transform sites at Seaton Carew in a bid to encourage new investment and breathe new life into the area.
Regeneration bosses received seven submissions and those have been whittled down to two companies based on their proposals, which include a mix of residential and commercial developments.
Meanwhile, Mayor Drummond has called on Seaton residents to be involved in the selection process.
One of the sites is a stretch of land at The Front, which includes the Rocket House car park, bus station and former fairground site and the privately-owned Longscar Centre, which has stood empty for a number of years.
The other areas include the site of the Seaton Carew Youth Centre and Community Sports Hall, in Elizabeth Way, and a stretch of land near the junction of Coronation Drive and Warrior Drive.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s cabinet committee, Mayor Drummond said: “It is really encouraging to see the amount of interest generated in the current economic climate.
“I would be keen to have a look at the two bids that have come in informally to see what is being proposed.”
The expressions of interest outlined how developers, which have not been identified at this stage, would plan to regenerate those areas.
Officers will now meet with representatives from the shortlisted companies in June.
The deadline for the final submissions is in August.
Mayor Drummond added: “I want to involve the residents every step of the way so that they have some ownership in this project.”
A report by Derek Gouldburn, the council’s urban and planning policy manager, said both organisations have indicated they would look to develop all of the sites identified.
It added that there was a “strong appetite” for residential development in Seaton Carew and scope for commercial development at The Front.