Plans for a new marina eatery which would have had a major impact on Hartlepool Sea Cadets have been sunk.
Councillors rejected permission for the building of a new restaurant/cafe on a car park next to the cadets’ headquarters at Middleton House.
The cadets, who recently moved into the building after raising £100,000 to buy it, objected to the development on the grounds they used the car park for their training activities and band practice.
But planning officers for Hartlepool Borough Council said as the cadets do not own the car park it was a civil matter between them and the landowner Mandale.
Ian McGregor, agent for the applicant Geoff Holmes, told the council’s planning committee the proposed eatery, at the bottom of Middleton Road near Navigation Point, would contribute to the vitality of the marina and give visitors more choice.
Council officers also recommended permission be granted, but it was blocked by councillors who were unhappy at the proposals including the impact on the cadets.
It would have been massively damaging for usClare Braham, Hartlepool Sea Cadets
Councillor Ray Martin-Wells said: “I believe this is entirely the wrong position to put a building. You are going to have late-night revellers potentially crossing the road to access it as currently the bulk of everything (on the marina) is on the opposite side of the road.”
Coun Carl Richardson said: “It could be detrimental to the sea cadets, people who have been there quite a long time and have made a contribution to Hartlepool.”
Coun Marjorie James felt there was a safety risk due to the proximity of the proposed restaurant to the water’s edge and referred to recent river deaths of young revellers in Durham.
Clare Braham, Hartlepool Sea Cadets executive officer, told the meeting how the unit had recently secured its future by getting Middleton House.
She said the restaurant would severely restrict the activities of the 44 cadets who use the building twice a week.
Speaking after permission was refused, she said: “It would have been massively damaging for us. It is the only outside space we can use safely.
“We are going to go and see if we can speak to Mandale again and see if we can buy the car park.”