Plans for a long-awaited new access road into Hartlepool including highway improvements around the A19 are to go before councillors for a decision next week.

Proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council planning department last year for the construction of a new grade-separated junction linked to the A19 “to improve highway functionality and road safety”.

The Hartlepool Western Link project, previously labelled the Elwick bypass, features the erection of a circular ramped slip road, an overbridge structure and a new highway to the north of Elwick Village connecting to existing routes.

Proposals, submitted by council officers, state the near mile-long road will bring “significant benefits” to Hartlepool, facilitate the development of new homes and support job creation.

The Northern Echo: Elwick sign where new route into Hartlepool will be createdElwick sign where new route into Hartlepool will be created (Image: LDR)

They add it would provide a “safe and effective third main access point from the A19 into and out of Hartlepool.”

However 26 letters of objection have been submitted over the proposals, which include worries around how the development would stop access to and from the A19 via Church Bank, as well as preventing vehicles joining from Coal Lane.

Such concerns were voiced by Susan Leonard, whose family have run Dovecote Farm in Elwick for nearly 100 years, but fear the plans will leave them “trapped” due to the “dangerous” alternative routes for farm vehicles.

The application will go before the council’s planning committee in a meeting at Hartlepool Civic Centre at 10am on Wednesday, January 10.

A report from planning officers ahead of the meeting is recommending the proposals are approved.

It said: “The proposed scheme would offer multi-faceted benefits in enabling the local authority to meet its housing needs, whilst also securing safer journeys that would alleviate and provide additional capacity to accommodate the pressures on the road network throughout the borough.

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The Northern Echo:

“The proposed scheme would also provide improved quality of life and heritage benefit within the village of Elwick by reducing traffic through the village.

“None of the concerns/impacts are so substantial that they would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the respective benefits.”

It adds while the Church Bank and Coal Lane closures would have “adverse impacts” they are “considered not to be critical to the functions and operations within the area.”

Eight letters of support and six of no objection have been submitted to the council over the plans, with comments including how the development is an “opportunity to enhance” Elwick village and “alleviate traffic.”