Planning blueprint for Hartlepool to replace axed £1.5m plan will not be ready for another year

Damien Wilson, Hartlepool Borough Council's assistant director (regeneration)
Damien Wilson, Hartlepool Borough Council's assistant director (regeneration)

A MAJOR planning blueprint will not be ready for at least another year as councillors prepare to discuss plans.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s regeneration services committee will meet this week to hear the planned timetable and progress made so far on the new plan after the last one was axed in October.

The previous Local Plan - a planning blueprint for the next 15 years – cost £1.5m and took five years to produce.

But it was agreed to withdraw it after a majority of councillors backed a motion by the Labour Group.

Committee members will now discuss two options, both of which include the publication and submission stage of the plan taking place in June next year.

Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director of regeneration, said in a report there are two options, either with or without the issues and options stage – the main purpose of which is to seek the views of the community and stakeholders on how the town should develop.

Officers are recommending going with option one, which includes the issues and options stage, as they say that is “most appropriate”.

The decision to axe the Local Plan divided opinion among councillors with some labelling the move a “waste of time and public money” which will open the floodgates for developers, as there is no adopted plan in place.

They raise concerns that areas such as Hart Village, the South West extension, Wynyard and other areas of undeveloped land could face unwanted development.

Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said it allowed the council time to look again at housing provision and the need and demand for a traveller site in Hartlepool.

Work has already started on preparing the new blueprint.

The committee meets Thursday, February 20 at 9.30am.