'Fantastic' new Hartlepool leisure centre plan set to be approved

A decision is to be made next week on proposals for a new multi-million pound leisure facility in Hartlepool.

Earlier this year Hartlepool Borough Council submitted an application for planning permission for Highlight, the town’s proposed new flagship leisure development on the Waterfront.

Proposals for the site include “main, leisure and learning” swimming pools, a gym, fitness studios, a cafe, soft play areas, an NHS consultation suite and more.

The application is to go before councillors on the planning committee on Wednesday, July 27, with officers recommending the proposals are approved.

An artist's impression of how Hartlepool's new Highlight leisure centre will look.

A report from council senior planning officer Jane Tindall states the development will bring a “vacant site in a prominent location” back into use and “transform the landmark setting”.

It said: “It is considered that the scheme represents a flagship development that showcases bold, inclusive and sympathetic design while providing equitable and high-quality indoor leisure facilities within Hartlepool.”

Two objections were received by the council during the planning consultation process from residents living nearby, raising concerns over increased noise, traffic and its impact on an existing gym business “next door”.

Meanwhile two letters of support were received, stating the development would be a “fantastic addition to the town”, making good use of the space and encouraging residents to become involved in sport.

The proposals also include events spaces, car parking, a promenade by the water’s edge and a garden.

A design and access statement from JBA Consulting says construction is expected to take place from “April 2023 to November 2024”.

Funding for the facility on the former Jackson’s Landing site, which will replace Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road, were approved in 2020.

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