'They’re trapping us in' - Family's fear for business over £24m plans for new Hartlepool relief road
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Sue Leonard, 73, said her family have run Dovecote Farm, in Elwick, for nearly 100 years.
Yet she has raised worries over how plans for a new junction to the nearby A19 involve closing key routes for their farm.
Proposals for the Hartlepool Western Link project, previously known as the Elwick bypass, include stopping all access to and from the A19 via Church Bank as well as preventing vehicles joining the A19 from Coal Lane.
Ms Leonard said the changes will stop vehicles turning left from their farm to join the A19 southbound and added that the alternative route, which would involve passing through Elwick village to join the new bypass, will be “dangerous” and “impossible” for larger farm vehicles due to weight restrictions and “far too narrow” roads.
She continued: “This would affect the running of our arable farm. I can see it drawing us to a close.
“Literally they’re trapping us in. It will leave us with a farm that won’t be able to be sold because of it.
“Over the other side of the A19 people are complaining as well because they’re saying you’re now cutting us right off from village life.”
Relatives at the farm include her 97-year-old father, Fred Grieves, who has lived there since he was two weeks old.
Similar objections have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council by neighbouring businesses and landowners.
Discount Equestrian said in its correspondence: “I am concerned this closure will affect the viability of our company as we will not be able to successfully operate with a reduction in customers and inability to take delivery of products.”
The council said in response to the concerns that it could not comment while the scheme is “going through the planning process”.
The £24m-£26m project, which has been delayed by the pandemic, is due to be discussed by the authority’s planning committee “early in the new year”.