PLANS to close a subway in a North-East shopping centre are set to be approved.

As part of a major redevelopment of Hartlepool town centre, developers want to close the subway under Stockton Road, demolish the Clandsman and Shopmobility units and extend the Middleton Grange shopping centre.

Hartlepool Borough Council will meet today to decide whether to agree the proposals, which would require people to cross the road at the junction of Stockton Street and Victoria Road.

A council spokesman said: "The notion of the subway was born out of the ideals of the 1960s where the car was given priority over the pedestrian.

"Now, the design of the urban environment has become increasingly important when considering planning applications including the impact of urban design on improving the pedestrian environment.

"The existing subway is dark and cramped."

Although the closure of the subway would lead to more pedestrians crossing the road it has been decided that small improvements to the crossing facilities, such as widening the island in the road and reducing the number of lanes on the road, could be easily carried out.

The application for planning permission for all the developments is set to be approved at today's meeting, following the council officer's recommendations.