An application was submitted earlier this year to demolish the former Ferry Road club and construct two artificial nesting structures for kittiwakes at the site.
The development aimed to mitigate against the impact the Hornsea Three offshore wind farm project off the Norfolk and Yorkshire coast may have on the birds, which are on the UK’s Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern.
Yet Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee refused the proposals on Wednesday, ruling it could have a constraining impact on economic development in the nearby port area.
They also recognised concerns from residents over noise from the birds and the visual impact of the nesting structures.
A total of 15 objections were lodged against the proposals, including from PD Teesport, raising concerns the nesting sites would be an “eyesore” and impact business development due to increasing the bird numbers.
Applicant Eleni Antoniou, from Orsted Hornsea Project Three, told councillors the project would provide a boost to wildlife in the area at an appropriate location.
She said: “Hartlepool is one of few areas on the east coast with kittiwakes already nesting. The numbers of breeding kittiwakes are already increasing naturally.
“We are committed to helping the town and working with businesses and organisations.”
This was despite noting the land had been designated for employment use in the Local Plan.
This was one of several issues raised by Kevin Ayrton, from ELG Planning, who was objecting on behalf of nearby PD Teesport, who said they had “significant concerns with the proposed development”.
He said: “The continued and future development of the port is to be significant to sustaining and enhancing the borough’s economy and way of life.
“The proposed development will introduce greater constraints, greater uncertainty and greater delays to existing businesses operating or looking to invest in the locality.”
Councillors ultimately voted by seven votes to four to refuse the application.
The former club at Middleton was built in the 1950s, following work led by businessmen Tot Richardson and Jim Atkinson.