Final piece of Hartlepool houses-to-flats scheme approved, using empty buildings to create much-needed homes
Plans have been approved to convert a house into two flats as the final part of a scheme to provide accommodation to vulnerable people and those in need in Hartlepool.
A total of 24 of the applications were approved, with 10 going before the council planning committee for approval, and 14 approved under delegated powers.
However plans for 54 Belk Street were refused due to concerns over antisocial behaviour and crime.
The approval of the proposals for Miers Avenue completes the scheme and means plans are in place to provide 50 flats, as originally intended.
One objection had been received to the latest plans from a resident raising concerns it could lead to antisocial behaviour and too many flats in the area.
However a report from council planning officer Stephanie Bell stated the plans were approved, noting the site will still be used for residential use, as it is currently, and no other plans as part of the wider scheme are in Miers Avenue.
She said: “There is a demonstrable need for flats in the area, the principle of development is considered to be appropriate in this location and would not result in a significant cumulative impact.
“Given that the proposed flats would bring vacant dwellings back into a residential use, on balance, it is considered that the proposed change of use would not adversely affect the character of the street scene or significantly intensify the residential use of the area.”
A design and access statement from RNJ Construction Consultants, on behalf of the applicant, stated the scheme will use funding from Homes England to provide physical and social benefits to Hartlepool.
It said: “Homes England’s Move on Fund is intended to provide necessary accommodation and support to enable independent living, particularly targeted at those leaving homelessness services or domestic violence services.
“Property intervention will deliver regeneration, thereby improving the quality of life for existing and new customers, reducing anti-social behaviour.”
The ‘Move on Project’ will inject a further £2.5million of investment into the Clarence and West View Estates as part of a wider package of works being proposed over the next five years, plans state.
Home Group said it has already recently made significant investment in both estates with new roofing, doors and electrics.
Initial plans as part of the scheme faced concerns from both residents and councillors over the potential for a rise in antisocial behaviour in the two estates.
However councillors on the planning committee said it was important they support vulnerable people and those who live alone in Hartlepool.
Council officers also noted Home Group said it has ‘allocated appropriate resources to manage these tenancies’ which will be of an improved condition.