Landmark former Hartlepool hotel set to mainly become student accommodation

Plans have been approved to convert a prominent former hotel into student accommodation.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:52 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:59 pm
Hartlepool's former Hillcarter Hotel, in Church Street. Picture by FRANK REID.

Proposals have been given the go-ahead by Hartlepool Borough Council planning department to convert the Hillcarter Hotel in Church Street into student accommodation.

The plans, submitted by Hillcarter Developments, states it wants to convert the first through to the fourth floor of the site into a mixture of studio apartments and clusters of bedrooms with access to kitchen and dining areas.

The site would offer 13 self-contained studios and 34 bedrooms, which would share kitchen and dining area facilities at a rate of five to seven students per area.

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The upper floors are to be transformed into student accommodation.

A report from Jane Tindall, senior council planning officer, confirmed the proposals have been approved and added that they should benefit the Church Street area.

She said: “The proposal will bring back into use a vacant building, with extensive internal refurbishment works to a prominent building within the Church Street Conservation Area.

“The site is within a sustainable location within the urban core of the town centre and close to amenities.

“It is considered on balance that the application is acceptable with respect to the relevant material planning considerations.”

Under the plans, the basement and ground floor of the hotel are to remain as licensed premises, having previously operated as a nightclub and bar respectively, although both are no longer trading.

The Hillcarter has been closed for approaching two years after apparent legal notices were posted on the building in June 2019.

A design and access statement, previously submitted by GAP Design on behalf of the applicant, stated the proposals would provide a boost to the area.

It said: “The proposal will bring back into use a prominent landmark building with little change to external appearance.

“Thus bringing back into use a now empty building to help develop a thriving creative quarter based around The Northern School of Art’s campus.”

The development will feature a ground floor reception area to handle day to day aspects of running and letting rooms, and to advertise any accommodation.

The developer has also confirmed business parking permits for the adjacent Dover Street Car Park will be purchased for use by the residents.

As part of the approval the applicant will also be required to pay £10,000 towards improving green infrastructure in the area.

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