Quirky new shopping venue on its way to Hartlepool as shipping container village plans approved for Tees Bay Retail Park

An innovative ‘box park’ built using shipping containers is on its way to Hartlepool after plans were praised by councillors and given the green light.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th September 2019, 10:19 am
How the new box park will look

Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee unanimously passed plans for the development which will see six shipping containers used for retail at Tees Bay Retail Park.

The plans, submitted by Mason Partners LLP, state some units will also have other empty containers on top for visual effect, and would be located in the corner between Poundstretcher and The Range.

Helen Heward, speaking at the committee meeting on behalf of planning agent Planning House, stated the proposals would provide a boost to the town.

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How the new box park will look

She said: “The site has been subject to significant investment and improvement over recent years and the proposals will be the next stage of the improvements.

“The proposed scheme would provide something completely new to Hartlepool.

“This will hopefully assist in the improvement of the retail offer around Tees Bay to compete with larger retail parks such as Teesside Park and Dalton Park.”

The application stated ‘based on floor space and potential operating hours it is considered that there could potentially be opportunity to employ up to 40 staff’.

Council planning officers had recommended the plans were approved ahead of the meeting, stating they would be a ‘unique’ offer and complement the rest of the retail park.

Councillors unanimously agreed, with Coun Jim Lindridge praising the ongoing development at the retail park.

He said: “I’m pleased we’ve got the continuing development of the Tees Bay Retail Park, it’s innovative in my opinion and I think this is a great choice for residents.”

Planning documents state interest has been shown so far for the units from a water softening company, a hairdressing salon, a sweet shop and an online gift retailer.

The applicant noted similar developments have been implemented around the world including Dubai and in London, while examples closer to home can be found in Gateshead, Newcastle and Teesside Retail Park.

It comes after more than £6million of investment at Tees Bay Retail Park in recent years which has been spent on refurbishment of existing units, provision of new shops and eateries, and improvements to landscaping and car parking.