Revised housing plans supported

COUNCILLORS have unanimously backed plans to build dozens of new houses on agricultural land.

Yuill Homes hopes to start building 65 two, three and four-bedroom houses on land in Eaglesfield Road, in Hartlepool, by the turn of the year.

It was the second time that the plans had been before Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee.

The application was first rejected earlier this year over concerns about the amount of traffic, density of houses and worries about the layout of the site.

Those views were taken on board and Yuill Homes submitted new proposals.

Chris Pipe, the council’s development control manager, told councillors that there was now more open space, landscaping work and each house will have a “good size” front and back garden.

The new properties will also have a minimum of two parking spaces and the developer was contributing £3,250 towards new trees.

Labour councillor Jonathan Brash said: “The changes are substantial and welcome.

“People are struggling for new homes and the affordable element to this site will help people in town.”

The development, which had been objected to by six residents ahead of the meeting, will include seven affordable homes.

Labour councillor Rob Cook, chair of the committee, said he was pleased the developer had returned with fresh plans.

Coun Cook said: “I would recommend that we accept it with open arms.”

Despite the unanimous backing, members did raise some concerns about the impact the new development could have on existing residents.

The main access road to the 4.7 acre site will be from Brierton Lane.

Independent councillor Geoff Lilley said more vehicles from the new houses could have a knock-on effect on the busy Catcote Road junction at the bottom of Brierton Lane.

Meanwhile, Labour councillor Marjorie James said she was concerned that residents in Eaglesfield Road that currently park on the grassed area would no longer be able to do so.

But planning chiefs said there was no requirement to provide a car parking area for existing houses.

The plans were then backed by all members.

Nigel Bell, land director at Yuill Homes, said developers had taken a “long hard look” at the original application.

He said the new site layout was more “relaxed and imaginative” with more open space.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Bell said: “We are really pleased with the approval.

“We have worked hard to address the criticisms of the previous planning application.

“It seems that it is generally accepted that this is a much better scheme and we look forward to progressing with the work on the site in due course.”

No figure for the cost of the development has yet been released but work could start by the turn of the year.