Plans for new play area win the green light from Hartlepool councillors
Plans for a new play area including equipment for disabled children on a village field have been approved despite concerns over potential anti-social behaviour.
Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee unanimously approved plans for new play equipment to be installed at Greatham Sports Field in Station Road.
The play area would include a castle slide, a climbing wall, stepping stones, balance beams, a basket swing and more.
Four objections were submitted by nearby land users raising concerns such as a potential increase in anti-social behaviour and that the play area would be too close to houses.
However four letters of support were also received stating how there are no facilities like this for disabled people in the area and it comes at no cost to the council.
The plans were submitted by Ronnie Westmoreland, secretary/trustee of Greatham Sports Field Association and had previously been recommended for approval by council planning officers.
Senior planning officer Laura Chambers said: “The proposed plans would see the introduction of play equipment in an existing site allocated for outdoor recreation, this is considered to enhance the range of facilities available in the locality.
“It is noted that the site will need to be well maintained, however this will be for the operators of the site and land owners to ensure.
“The proposed development seeks to expand the provision of facilities at an existing recreation site.”
The council also noted Cleveland Police had no objections to the plans and the site was not in an isolated location that would encourage anti-social behaviour or vandalism.
A supporting statement sent to the council by Mr Westmoreland ahead of the decision listed the benefits the play equipment would provide to the site.
It said: “The field is for the use of the village people and those of the surrounding area, it has access all the time.
“The addition of the play area would give another opportunity for people to use the facility including people that are disabled.”
The play area will be surrounded by a timber fence which has already had work started on it, and groundwork has also been done in preparation.
There is also a football field and a tennis court at the site and other activities held include a classic car show.
The village also use it for some their activities at the annual Greatham Feast.
Funding for the project has been obtained from landfill management firm Impetus, who also provide funding for the tennis court around 10 years ago.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service