Housing growth ‘good news’ for future of Hartlepool

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A growth in housing in Hartlepool is ‘good news’ for the future of the town, the council leader has said.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher revealed that Hartlepool has been growing at a rate of 400 properties a year since he became council leader in 2013.

This is compared to 140 properties a year before this, the council leader said.

He said the growth in housing, combined with ongoing regeneration projects, is crucial to attracting and keeping people in the borough.

He said: “We want to keep residents here and grow Hartlepool.

“It’s a very important place and it has a big role to play in the Tees Valley. More properties mean more revenue and more people in the town.

“It’s also providing different sorts of housing to suit people’s needs. Since 2013 it’s been growing at a rate of 400 properties a year, before that it was a rate of 140 properties.

“This is all coming despite the cuts we continue to have to face from central government.”

He said housing is also helped by wider developments such as the £18milion Western Growth Corridor project with the Tees Valley Combined Authority which will provide an extra route into the town and unlock land for housing development.

Earlier this year councillors gave the green light to  a major new housing development of up to 1,200 homes in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee backed the plans for the development – put forward in 2014 – in the High Tunstall area.

Last year work also began on the second phase of a development in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool from the Thirteen Group.

The development involves building 64 two and three-bed properties including 36 bungalows, and followed on from the first phase involving 33 two and three-bedroom homes being built, which was completed in 2016.

Additionally Coun Akers-Belcher pointed to the success of several large scale projects going on in the town centre which help promote the area and will provide several benefits going forward.

This includes the redevelopment of Church Square and the former Post Office being transformed into The Bis, a base for new creative businesses.

He also praised the importance of the council acquiring the Shades Hotel and said they would be ‘flexible’ over the usage of the site and would push to get the best out of it.

He said: “We’re doing some very big work in the town.

“It’s all very positive news for the town going forward.

“It’s about promoting the town and getting people to be proud of the area.

“We want to keep people in the area, it’s about creating jobs.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service