Pioneering housing scheme for Hartlepool gets go-ahead from council planners

The site of planned house building. Picture by FRANK REID
The site of planned house building. Picture by FRANK REID

A new housing scheme of homes that adapt to owners’ needs as they get older has been approved in Hartlepool.

Applicant Mike Dickinson told planning councillors the scheme could be a trailblazer and lead the way for other parts of the country.

Permission was granted for the development of 14 detached properties on 1.7 acres of land at Southbrooke Farm, in Summerhill Lane.

Existing buildings and a farm house on the site are set to be demolished to make way for the scheme.

Mr Dickinson told Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee that buyers will be able to chose from one of 14 different home layouts that can adapt to meet the occupants’ needs as they get older.

He said: “The whole purpose of this scheme is choice for the purchaser.

“They were designed around the need both now for the young and the older and the future need for people as their family grows and changes.

“If you want a two bedroom ground floor dwelling you can have one. If you want a three bedroom or four bedroom, you can have it.”

Mr Dickinson added the scheme had been produced after two and a half years of research into the housing situation in the UK.

A meeting was held at West Hartlepool rugby club where 52 people aged between 22 and 85 said what they expected from a new home now and in future.

Mr Dickinson said: “We think this going to be a pilot scheme that will be taken on not just locally but nationally.

“We really think this could be something big for Hartlepool. I think it will be absolutely perfect and be a positive contribution to our town.”

A Telecare personal alarm system will be built into the homes in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education.

A legal agreement between the applicant and council will see significant developer contributuions.

They include over £38,000 towards primary school education, £25,000 for secondary school education and almost £154,000 to highways, including the planned Elwick bypass.

Councillors unanimously approved the scheme.

Coun Shane Moore said: “Building good quality homes for life are important, I personaly believe, and there are far too many homes that are built now that don’t take any of those into consideration.”

Coun Ray Martin-Wells added: “It would have been easy to try to cram as many properties as possible on there but they have kept it sensible.”

Work will not start until a detailed flood scheme is produced and agreed by the council and Northumbrian Water.