Plans approved for new business hub to help boost Hartlepool's economy

Plans have been approved for a new business hub in Hartlepool aiming to help “boost the economy”.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 3:41 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council planning department has given the go-ahead to proposals to convert the Beechlands residential property in Elwick Road into the six-office hub.

The plans, from applicant Mr Maas Shaheen, state it is envisaged at least four of the offices would be occupied by branches of igomove, an online estate agency.

Documents also state an online financial adviser or mortgage broker could be located within one of the offices, which would offer a ‘complementary use’ but consist of a separate business.

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Developers say it will help give the town a much-needed economic boost

A report from senior council planning officer Jane Tindall confirmed the proposals have been given the go-ahead, adding they should have no negative impact on the area.

She said: “The proposal is for on-line services, with limited access to the premises by the public and the offices will be used by staff. This will alleviate any impact on the residential area.

“Planning Policy considers that the applicant has justified the development outside of designated centres as not being directly comparable with the retail/commercial offerings of the town centres.

“It is considered on balance that the application is acceptable with respect to the relevant material planning consideration.”

A condition has been placed on the development that the site shall only be used as “an online estate agency and online financial services” to ensure “residential properties in the area are safeguarded.”

Igomove currently has separate branches for Hartlepool, Teesside and Durham, with further franchises for Sunderland and Darlington expected to open soon, and all would run from the property.

A planning statement, submitted on behalf of the applicant, states the business hub would host eight full-time and two part-time staff and benefit the area.

It said: “The proposed development delivers a series of economic, social and environmental benefits.

“The proposed development will assist the local authority in boosting the economy through the creation of jobs without significant impact upon the vitality and viability of the existing retailing centres of the borough.”

The businesses would be open from 9am until 6pm Monday to Friday, according to planning documents.

Overall the site will feature six office spaces, shared storage, a data room, a boardroom, kitchen, WC and reception.

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