New cafe to open in area of Hartlepool 'devoid of cafeterias' - and it will offer free food for those in need

Plans for a new cafeteria which aims to provide food for those in need and facing financial troubles have been given the go-ahead.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 4:45 pm

Proposals had been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council last year to convert an office at Dimensional House, 81 Stranton, in the town into a cafeteria.

The application from Peter Gowland stated the facility, off Elwick Road, would be open to the public, not just those working in the building.

It also states the site would look to offer affordable food sessions and even free food to those in need.

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Dimensional House, 81 Stranton, Hartlepool

A report from council planning officer Stephanie Bell confirmed the proposals have now been approved.

She said: “It is considered that the principle of the proposed change of use of part of the building from offices to a cafeteria and associated alterations would not give rise to adverse impacts upon the visual amenity.

“Furthermore, it is a consideration that the proposals would bring a vacant building back into use.”

The building, which plans state has been chiefly dormant in recent years,  is also currently home to voluntary organisations, small businesses and social enterprises.

Dimensional House, 81 Stranton, Hartlepool

A planning statement from Mr Gowland previously said the site would add something to the area.

He said: “The Stranton area is devoid of cafeteria facilities at the moment so this would provide a sustainable function in the area together with providing employment opportunities.

“A future intention of the facility would be to provide the surrounding community with affordable food sessions.

“Members of the local community, especially those who are financially strained, could access free or very low cost food on designated days.

Dimensional House, 81 Stranton, Hartlepool

“Now the building is to the most part occupied with small business users and voluntary groups it is felt that a cafeteria facility within the building would enhance the opportunities on offer and would provide a well need centrally based community facility for the Stranton area.”

Neighbouring properties and ward councillors were consulted over the plans with no objections raised.

Plans state the site can be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.