Revamp for eyesore

An artist's impression
An artist's impression

PLANS to revamp an “eyesore” shopping unit have been unanimously backed by councillors.

Councillors say the unit, which is next to the roundabout at the junction of Stockton Road and Burn Road, in Hartlepool, is an “embarrassment” and they have welcomed plans to transform the site.

The building, which used to house Comet and Allied Carpets, is currently empty.

The plans will see the car park revamped, the outside of the building renovated and three new units created inside.

Details on when the work will start and which businesses would be moving in have not been released but developers say they are investing a “significant” amount of money in the refurbishment.

Allied Carpets closed down in August 2009 after the national chain cut more than 850 jobs nationally.

Six people lost their jobs in Hartlepool when it closed, while Comet later relocated to the Anchor Retail Park, in Marina Way.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee approved the plans, which were submitted by Manchester-based agents Savills Commercial on behalf of the owners, a firm called Threadneedle.

Council officers had originally rejected a similar scheme last year over concerns it would impact on the Stranton Conservation Area, but that decision was later overturned on appeal by a planning inspector.

The agents re-submitted the application, which then went before the local authorities planning committee.

Conservative councillor Ray Wells said: “I for one am delighted that this has come to the planning committee and it should have come the first time.

“The site that is there at the moment is an eyesore and an embarrassment.”

Independent councillor for the Seaton ward, Paul Thompson, added: “This is an embarrassing eyesore as you come into Hartlepool. It is one of the first things that you see.

“It should not have been rejected in the first place.”

The existing roof will be replaced with dark grey cladding with pressed metal, while there will also be a new service entrance out the back and a new main entrance with a brick boarder at the front.

Doors will also be repainted and doors that are no longer needed will be filled in with red brick.

Inside the two large units will be divided into three and there will be improvements to the car park with disabled and parent child parking.