Seaside sites in demand

DEVELOPERS are set to hold talks with council officers over their plans to regenerate three sites at a popular seaside resort.

Earlier this year Hartlepool Borough Council asked developers to submit expressions of interest to transform three council-owned sites at Seaton Carew.

The idea is to encourage new investment in a bid to breathe new life into the area.

Regeneration bosses received seven submissions and those have been whittled down to two companies based on their proposals, which include a mix of residential and commercial developments.

One of the sites is a stretch of land at The Front, which includes the Rocket House car park, bus station and former fairground site and the privately-owned Longscar Centre, which has stood empty for a number of years.

The other areas include the site of the Seaton Carew Youth Centre and Community Sports Hall, in Elizabeth Way, and a stretch of land near to the junction of Coronation Drive and Warrior Drive.

The expressions of interest outlined how developers, which have not been identified at this stage, would plan to regenerate those areas.

Officers will meet with representatives from the shortlisted companies in June and they say it is reassuring to see the interest in the sites in the current economic climate.

The council’s cabinet committee is due to meet on Monday to discuss the proposals.

A report by Derek Gouldburn, the council’s urban and planning policy manager, said: “Both of these organisations have indicated that they would look to develop all of the sites identified, releasing significant funding to deliver a range of regeneration priorities, a key aim of the scheme.

“The responses clearly show that within the private sector there is a clear indication that there is strong appetite for residential development in Seaton Carew and there is also scope for commercial development at the The Front, the actual level of which will require further development work.”

Officers will hold face-to-face talks with the firms within the next few weeks if senior councillors on the cabinet committee give approval.

Senior councillors will meet on Monday, May 23, at 9.15am at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.