A £1.3 million regeneration of Seaton Carew has been given the go ahead.
Planning permission has been granted for the first two phases of work as part of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Seaton Carew Masterplan.
New features to the seafront will include beach huts, children’s play and waterplay facilities and repairs to Seaton’s Art Deco clock tower and bus shelter.
The proposals were approved by the council’s Planning Committee yesterday.
Senior planning officer Ryan Cowley said: “It is considered that the proposal of the development will enhance the leisure and tourism offer of Seaton Carew, having a positive impact on the environment through the reconfiguration and enhancement of the public realm, which will in turn have social benefits for users of the facilities and economic benefits for businesses operating within Seaton Carew.
“The proposals are also supported by the council’s economic regeneration team which has commented that the improvements will broaden the visitor appeal of the borough and support the visitor economy.”
Seaton Carew’s paddling pool on The Front is to be removed and a new outdoor play park created.
It will include children’s water play area including ground geysers, water tunnels, jet streams and a fountain spray.
Children’s play equipment and picnic tables will also be provided in addition to new beach huts looking out to sea.
Work to upgrade the existing car park near the Longscar Centre will be carries out including changes to the layout, landscape improvements and the provision of seating.
The council had to redraw their plans after a Compulsory Purchase Order for the derelict Longscar Centre was rejected.
Historic England said: “The retention of the Longscar building in this most recent version of the scheme is unfortunate, but the application still positively addresses the remaining space that lies within the conservation area and this will still be an improvement for the area.”
Seaton’s conservation area is currently considered to be ‘at risk’ by Historic England due to an accumulation of minor alterations to windows, doors, replacement shop fronts and signs, and the empty Longscar building.
The council’s heritage and countryside manager said it is hoped the scheme will go some way to addressing those issues.
Planning committee member Councillor Ray Martin-Wells said: “I think congratulations to the officers and architects. On behalf of Seaton I think we would like to see it.”