D-Day in bid to demolish ex-Hartlepool club and create nesting site

Plans to demolish the old Hartlepool Yacht Club to provide a new nesting site for threatened birds could get the go-ahead next week despite concerns from residents.

By Nic Marko
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 3:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 7:37 am
The site of the former Hartlepool Yacht Club. Picture by FRANK REID.
The site of the former Hartlepool Yacht Club. Picture by FRANK REID.

An application was submitted earlier this year to demolish the former club at Middleton that was built by two local businessmen in the 1950s.

It would see the Old Yacht Club, on Ferry Road, now a private home, knocked down and replaced by two artificial nesting structures for kittiwakes, which are on the UK’s Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern.

The development would mitigate against the impact the Hornsea Three offshore wind farm project off the Norfolk and Yorkshire coast may have on the birds.

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A decision is to be made by the council planning committee on Wednesday, June 22.

A council officer report ahead of the meeting notes that, although the proposals would be on land designated for employment, the “environmental benefits” and the small size of the site means it should be approved.

It said: “The proposal would not result in significant adverse impacts on the amenity or privacy of neighbouring land users or adverse visual impacts.

“The proposal is considered to be acceptable in respect of all other material considerations.”

The artificial nesting structures proposed include one based on traditional fishermen’s huts, and another on a tower-like structure.

Applicant Ørsted stated: “It is ideally located in relation to the coast and there is an existing kittiwake colony nearby on the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Station.”

Along with concerns from residents, an objection has also been submitted on behalf of PD Teesport.

It said: “The development itself will not provide any direct human benefits to new businesses and the economy of Teesside.

“There are also significant concerns with the introduction of a habitat into a location allocated for employment development, along with our client’s current and future operations.”

The yacht club was built as an asset to the town following work led by businessmen Tot Richardson and Jim Atkinson.

It hosted a number of large events until its amalgamation with the new Tees & Hartlepool Yacht Club at the Marina in the early 1990s.

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