Plans for new Hartlepool homes face rejection following cash wrangle

Plans to build more than a dozen new homes could be rejected after the applicant asked to change the original terms and conditions.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:15 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee will decide next week whether to approve proposals for the new three and four bed homes at Southbrooke Farm, in Summerhill Lane, Hartlepool.

The plans, from applicant Mike Dickinson, were previously approved by councillors in 2017, subject to a legal agreement securing planning contributions, which the applicant had agreed to pay at the time.

However, since then the applicant contacted council officers and said they are unable to pay the required sum.

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The Summerhill Lane site where the 14 Hartlepool houses could be built.
The Summerhill Lane site where the 14 Hartlepool houses could be built.

The costs totalled more than £230,000 and would have included contributions towards education and sporting facilities in the area along with the Elwick bypass.

The proposals had been set to go before councillors in April this year before the application was withdrawn from the agenda at the applicant’s request.

It will now go before the council planning committee on Wednesday, June 23, for a decision to be made.

A report ahead of the meeting, from council senior planning officer Jane Tindall, recommends the proposals are refused by councillors due to the financial planning contributions no longer being in place.

She said: “It is considered that the principle of the development in this instance is unacceptable as the development would represent an unsustainable form of development without securing the requisite planning obligations.

“The proposals would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area, ecology and nature conservation, and the local and strategic road network.”

The site subject to the plans is accessed from Catcote Road and a planning statement, previously submitted by Kingfield Developments, states the proposals would provide much needed housing for the area.

It said: “The design is driven principally by the need to meet the local and national demand and future housing needs of an ageing and more discerning population.

“Considerable time and effort has been spent by this company over the last two years in researching the provision of housing to tackle the future needs of an ageing population and those also of a growing younger population who still live at home with their parents.”