Plans for Hartlepool coastguard station to become house set to be heard

Headland Lighthouse
Headland Lighthouse

PLANS to convert a former coastguard station in the shadow of one of Hartlepool’s most historic sites are up for decision this week.

An application has been lodged with Hartlepool Borough Council to turn the vacant building near the Headland’s Heugh Gun Battery into a one-bedroom home.

It would involve a first floor extension to provide new living space and a viewing gallery looking out to the sea.

The proposed development, which is also next to the listed Heugh Lighthouse, has prompted a flurry of objections.

The site lies within the Headland Conservation Area meaning any development will be subject to greater scrutiny.

But despite fears the development would harm the historic character of the area, English Heritage is not objecting.

A total of 19 letters of objection have been lodged with the council compared to three letters in support.

Objectors claim the proposal would blight the area and is not in keeping with its area.

Others say the proposed design is too modern and the building work would cause disturbance to the Heugh Gun Battery which is an open museum.

Papers for the council’s planning committee say the battery, which is a designated heritage asset, is one of the focal points of the conservation area.

But officers add the area’s buildings feature a wide mix of architecture and uses.

The applicants say the plans have been designed to echo other buildings around the lighthouse.

The council’s Landscape and Conservation department said the proposed development would impact on the setting of the heritage of the area because of its closeness and change of height.

But it went on to say: “The compound itself comprises a number of buildings of differing heights, therefore although there would be an additional building within this area the lighthouse would remain as the dominant building within the site and the significance of the asset, ie the design and history, will not be harmed.”

The application, being sought by Mark Beard, is due to be decided by the planning committee in the council chamber of the civic centre, at 10am tomorrow.