Residents object to homes plans

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SCORES of homeowners have raised objections over plans to build more than 200 homes close to a plush housing estate.

Developers Wynyard Park wants to build 219 houses on land west of Wynyard Park.

The executive-style homes would be situated on a 32-hectare site, near the planned new £300m hospital development.

Some objectors say increased traffic could mean lives may be lost if ambulances are caught up in gridlock.

Outline planning consent from Hartlepool Borough Council is being sought for the scheme, on the opposite side of the A689 to the existing housing estate.

But some Wynyard residents have voiced concerns over the plans, stating increased road congestion and over-development of an already over-populated village with many unsold properties.

The “catastrophic” impact on the countryside is also cited as a reason for objection.

Around 45 households have objected, while 15 responses, including from businesses, have lodged “no objection”.

Wynyard Park chief executive Chris Musgrave says these are “misguided perceptions” and the development would generate significantly less traffic than if the land was developed for business, which the area currently has permission for.

But one Wynyard resident, lodging an objection on the council’s website, mentions the present “extreme” volume of traffic on the A689 and adds: “To have up to 1,000 residents also trying to access the A689 would put pressure on it and in peak times and weather conditions this would cause gridlocks.

“If/when the hospital goes ahead then lives could be put at risk.”

A consultation response from the Highways Agency admitted the development would generate a “significant amount of traffic” which could adversely affect the A689 junctions.

But the response added: “The trip generation for the proposed housing is significantly less than that would be generated by the extant permission (of B1 office development).”

Stockton Borough Council called the plans ‘premature’ and wants an urgent review where Stockton and Hartlepool councils can “examine future development at Wynyard”, considering the impact on the planned new hospital, the need for highways improvements, landscape, social infrastructure and Wynyard’s role in relation to sustainable and affordable housing.

Mr Musgrave said: “As part of a commendable local authority planning process huge numbers of people and organisations have been consulted.

“More than 800 homes in the Wynyard Village area were included and it appears that around 40 or so have raised concerns.

“The main objections appear to be increased traffic flow and the additional housing which are misguided perceptions. We welcome them more as constructive criticism which we can work together on to resolve for everyone’s benefit.

“The land already has planning permission for substantial business use which would generate a far higher level of traffic. Housing would actually mean there would be 90 per cent less traffic than if the land is developed for business.

“Obviously, this has been recognised by the Highways Agency which has informed Hartlepool Borough Council that it will not be objecting to the scheme.

“Regeneration agency One NorthEast is not objecting to the scheme which will hopefully allay fears about housing levels and density.

“It is unfortunate that some people have failed to grasp the benefits it will bring to Hartlepool and we would welcome the opportunity to work with them to allay any misguided fears they have.

“We held a widely-advertised public consultation exercise culminating in a two-day exhibition at Wynyard Park which attracted positive feedback.

“The development plans were drawn up in consultation with numerous agencies, including environmental, design and regeneration agencies and from the evidence to date the scheme is being roundly supported.

“It is pleasing to see that many agencies and bodies want to work alongside Wynyard Park Ltd to develop a scheme that would bring massive benefits to the area and one which has been developed with local and national Government guidelines at the forefront of our minds.”

The dealine for comments on the proposals has expired, and a decision is expected by June.