Plans for 31 homes in Hartlepool resubmitted despite previous refusal over anti-social behaviour fears

Controversial plans to build 31 homes in Hartlepool, which were previously rejected over crime concerns, are back on the table and recommended for approval.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 5:45 pm
A revised application from Engie Ltd was resubmitted in August, and the plans will again be put before the Hartlepool Borough Council planning committee on Wednesday, October 23.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee turned down the proposed development at Lealholm Road and Newholm Court, off Seaton Lane, in May.

It came after local residents said they feared it would lead to a return of crime and anti-social behaviour they saw before Keith Road was demolished in 2003.

But a revised application from Engie Ltd was resubmitted in August, and the plans will again be put before the council planning committee on Wednesday, October 23.

Concerns have again been raised over anti-social behaviour and crime, with three objections and a petition containing 34 signatures submitted to the council over the plans.

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However a report from senior council planning officer Laura Chambers is recommending the plans are approved, subject to planning contributions being paid by the developer.

It said: “There is nothing to suggest housing in this location would necessarily affect anti-social behaviour but in any event this is not a material planning consideration as separate legislation would be called on to manage this issue if it were to occur.

“The proposed development would provide new dwellings in an existing residential area of the town, bringing a currently vacant area of land back into use.

“The location of the development is considered appropriate in principle and would provide a number of benefits, including affordable housing.”

The plan is for 31 affordable two and three bedroomed two storey houses, that would be managed by Thirteen, on two parcels of land.

The planning statement stresses the two development sites will be entirely independent of each other and there will be no pedestrian, cycle or vehicular link to bungalows in the middle of the site at Middleham Court which were built after Keith Road was knocked down.

However concerns have still been raised to the council from nearby residents over crime worries which could occur if the development got the go-ahead.

One Lealholm Road resident said: “We want to object on the basis of anti-social behaviour. We do not want this area to be back to the nineties.”

Agents on behalf of Thirteen, who would be responsible for identifying and addressing any anti-social behaviour, claim the fears are unfounded and say there have been big changes to the area in the last 20 years.

A decision will be made on the plans at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday, October 23, at the Civic Centre at 10am.