Homes promise for Hartlepool as new housing strategy approved for town
Council chiefs have said they are committed to providing sustainable homes and meeting the needs of its residents with its housing plan for the next five years.
It came as Hartlepool Borough Council Regeneration Services Committee approved the town’s housing strategy for 2019-2024 and the associated action plan.
The plan also applies to housing providers the council is working with along with its key partners.
Andrew Carter, council assistant director economic growth and regeneration, laid out the plan’s key points and said it was important to provide the housing residents in the town need.
He said: “Developing and maintaining successful communities where people choose to live, by meeting the housing needs of our residents now and in the future, that’s the vision we are trying to do.
“To achieve this vision the housing strategy has been developed under three themes which will contribute towards achieving the vision.
“Maximising housing growth and delivering sustainable new homes. Making the best use of existing homes, regenerating and improving communities.
“And also supporting people with specific housing needs to access and maintain appropriate housing.
“It’s not just talking about physical building of new houses, it’s looking at how we can adapt the current housing stock we’ve got in the borough and also helping people actually living in houses.”
A consultation was also held on the housing strategy from May to July this year, with 147 responses received.
Issues raised included the demand for bungalows for elderly people, ongoing problems regarding empty homes, private rented sector issues and highlighting the use of brownfield sites.
Coun Ann Marshall raised the importance of sustainable homes and how this can be ensured going forward.
She said: “If we’re going down the road of more green energy I just wondered why when we’re looking at new builds, why we’ve not done electric car charging points that could be put in straight away, not for us to pay for at a later date?”
She also raised the importance of sprinklers in properties such as HMOs, three storey houses or high-rise flats.
Mr Carter said any residential property over a certain height is asked to include them, and mitigation must be provided if they are not included, while any council scheme brought forward will have sprinklers included.
He also said the council encourages developers to incorporate electric car charging points, however noted they do cost ‘a lot of money’ to install and some developers cannot afford them.
The plan will now go before full council for final approval.