Plans for 31 home home development in Hartlepool delayed due to concerns of anti-social behaviour

Councillors have delayed making a decision on plans for a new 31 home affordable housing development over anti-social behaviour worries.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 9:53 am
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 9:54 am
The entrance to the site. Picture Google.

Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee was due to make a decision on proposals for 31 two and three bedroomed homes to be built over two separate plots of land off Lealholm Road in Hartlepool.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for the affordable housing, submitted by applicant Engie Ltd in association with housing provider Thirteen, were given the go-ahead.

However councillors moved to defer making a decision until the next meeting to carry out a site visit due to concerns over anti-social behaviour in the area.

One resident, who lives near the proposed site, voiced concerns over anti-social behaviour which have plagued the area, especially under its former name of Keith Road.

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The Hartlepool Mail reported in the year 2000, 47 houses in the former Keith Road were knocked down after problems with drugs, burglary, intimidation and properties falling into disrepair.

Speaking at the meeting, resident Mrs Oliver commented nearby Jutland Road has suffered crime problems, which could return to other areas if the new estate is built.

She said: “We have had no trouble for the past 20 years.

“They can’t promise us the anti-social behaviour isn’t going to start again. Our neighbours are now living in fear they are going to go through what they went through 20 years ago and I don’t think that’s fair.

“The police are saying that it’s low for crime but it’s not. Why destroy something that has lasted for the last 20 years? Why develop in an area where you can’t control people you already have in?”

Marian McDonald, speaking on behalf of Thirteen Group in favour of the application, said they were committed to providing safe neighbourhoods in the area.

She said: “The development of 31 properties for affordable rent represents a significant investment in Hartlepool from Thirteen.

“By working closely with our neighbourhood teams we commit to developing high quality safe neighbourhoods for our residents.

“The development would bring a currently vacant area of land back into use and contribute to the long term sustainability and regeneration of the Seaton Lane area in particular.”

The homes would be built over two parcels of land to the south east and south west of Newholm Court, directly east and west of Lealholm Road, which is split into two cul-de-sacs, with no through road connecting them.

Community safety officers and Cleveland Police said the area around the proposed site is not classed as ‘higher than average for crime or anti-social behaviour’.

Councillors said it was vital residents report any crime to ensure the statistics provide the full picture.

Coun Kevin Cranney said: “This is recorded instances, a lot of people are just fed up of phoning the police because they don’t get any action, so therefore the reporting of crime has dropped.

“More people need to be contacting the police and telling them what’s going on.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service