New bid to tackle Hartlepool's 'grot spots'

Council chiefs are to write to government ministers and Hartlepool's MP calling for more powers to help tackle “eyesore” derelict buildings and “grot spots”.

By Nic Marko
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 2:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 4:50 pm

The move was unanimously supported by councillors at the latest Hartlepool full council meeting.

Council leader Councillor Shane Moore, who raised the motion, said local authorities need to be given more powers to take control of derelict buildings and sites which “ruin communities and stifle economic growth”.

The independent union representative noted councils often get the blame for such sites, even though many are owned by private organisations.

Four of Hartlepool's empty buildings and pieces of land.

He said: “It is something that affects pretty much every ward in the town.

“The public often feel that the council can and should do something to get that land redeveloped and we all know we can’t unfortunately and the law is stacked against us.

“We need to do something and I would really urge that we take this debate to Parliament because something has to be done.

"It cannot be done at a local level, it must be done at a national level.”

The former Wesley Chapel. Picture by FRANK REID

The motion initially called for the council to write to Hartlepool Conservative MP Jill Mortimer.

But councillors added it should also be addressed to the relevant Government minister.

Labour Group leader Cllr Brenda Harrison added: “We all have our grot spots in our various wards and areas.

“It is a blight on the town and it is a very difficult situation to deal with.”

The former Odeon cinema and Caesar's Palace bar. Picture by FRANK REID

Cllr Pamela Hargreaves, who seconded the motion, highlighted the Hourglass Pub, in Eaglesfield Road, as an example of a “complete eyesore” plaguing residents in Manor House ward.

Cllr Leisa Smith, independent representative in Seaton, said they are continuing to fight for the derelict land at the former Longscar Hall site.

He stressed they must use “every ounce of leverage” to ensure private companies work with the council to guarantee there is a public benefit if they wish to access such funds.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Shane Moore.

Previous council meetings have also identified the former Odeon cinema, in Raby Road, as another building of concern.

Council chiefs added they do keep records of derelict sites and progress being made to tackle them.

The former Hourglass Pub. Picture by FRANK REID
The site of the former Longscar building. Picture by FRANK REID