Life-saving equipment to be installed at Hartlepool's Borough Hall
Plans have been approved for a ‘life-saving’ defibrillator to be installed outside the Borough Hall in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee unanimously approved the plans for the installation of the wall mounted defibrillator unit on the grade II listed building in Middlegate in the Headland area of the town.
The plans, submitted by officers at the council, said the equipment is to be located on the ground floor extension to the east of the main Borough Hall, which comprises the offices of the Headland Parish Council.
Council leader Coun Shane Moore, who represents the ward on the council, said it was important to get the facility installed on ‘one of the borough’s most iconic and important buildings.’
He said: “I don’t think I need to explain how vital easily accessible public defibrillators can be in being the difference to saving someone’s life.
“But I feel this need is even greater in areas which large public gatherings take place on a regular basis.
“Whenever a parade, festival or other event is held in the vicinity, the parish council office is used as a base, so the proposed location has always been the best option for a defibrillator.
“These plans show how the need to protect our assets must also be balanced against public safety, allowing buildings like the Borough buildings to remain an integral part of our community; open, relevant and still the beating heart in the 21st century.”
Council planning officers noted concerns had previously been raised the yellow defibrillator would not be in-keeping with the historic building in the Headland Conservation Area.
However they said following further talks the benefits of the equipment outweighed any potential harm and the plans had been recommended for approval.
They also said other sites had been considered to house the defibrillator but were ruled out and council bosses said the Borough Hall was the best location for it.
Coun Brenda Loynes said: “If we can save one life, it would be worth it.”
Councillors on the committee also urged the importance of ensuring the building is further developed in years to come.
Coun Marjorie James said: “It’s been a long time coming, renovations to the Borough Hall.
“I would want to see quite soon the business plan for the usage of the space, if not in five years time or ten years time we will be exactly where we are now, with a building that has had money spent on it.”