Plans approved to turn popular former Hartlepool tea room into house

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Plans have been given the green light to convert a popular former tea room, which was previously a church, into a house.

Earlier this year proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council to convert the former Mary Rowntree’s Tearoom and Restaurant into a place of residence.

Owner John O’Connor had spent 16 years renovating the former St Andrew’s Church, on Hartlepool’s Headland, before it opened in 2012, creating 11 jobs.

The tea room served traditional food including cream teas and sandwiches, as well as home-made scones and cakes and it also had a licensed bar.

However it has been closed for over a year and the planning application submitted by Mr O’Connor to convert the site into a single dwelling has now been given the green light by council planning bosses.

Council planning officer Helen Heward said: “Subject to an appropriately designed scheme, one residential unit at the property would not have a detrimental impact upon the amenity of neighbouring properties.

“The principle of the proposal is considered to be generally acceptable in terms of planning policy.”

The council public protection team said they had no objections to the proposals providing a suitable sound insulation scheme was installed to the wall with the neighbouring residential premises.

One comment had been received over the plans from a neighbour Neal Cook who raised concerns over potential noise issues.

However he said as long as action was carried out to address this he did not object to the plans.

It said: “We found that the party wall connecting both properties had not been sound proofed and we could literally hear chairs being moved around and people talking through the walls.

“My only concern regarding change of use or future developments would be for them to take the noise reduction into account and soundproof the adjoint wall.

“This would in turn prevent future issues as neighbour squabbles over noise would not only depreciate my house value, but would make it difficult for me and my three young children to put up with this again.”

He had previously contacted the council and environmental health, who sent a representative to speak to the manager and solve the problem.

The Grade-II listing building in York Place dates back to 1886 and had been derelict before being converted into a restaurant.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service