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Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has given the green light for funding to deliver the first homes to be built in Hartlepool as part of a programme designed to bring disused and derelict land back to life.
As part of the Government’s Brownfield Housing Fund the Tees Valley was awarded £19.3million to bring empty and neglected land back into productive use. The local authorities have worked closely with the Mayor to determine the five sites earmarked to deliver 945 new homes in the first year of the scheme.
One of the first schemes to be approved by the Mayor and Combined Authority will develop land for 47 new homes at Lynn Street and Whitby Street in Hartlepool, subject to the granting of planning permission. It follows an £18.8million investment also signed off by the Mayor, delivering ongoing regeneration in the town as part of the Innovation and Skills Quarter project.
Further sites in the programme set for redevelopment are Gresham and Middlehaven in Middlesbrough, South Bank in Redcar and Elm House in Stockton. Together with the Hartlepool scheme this will see more than 2,300 construction jobs created or safeguarded along with almost 50 new apprentices recruited. When complete, the sites are together expected to add around £120million to the regional economy.
In total up to 1,800 homes will be built across the region as part of the government’s scheme to rejuvenate and revitalise previously developed land.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted to sign off the funding to help develop these homes, working with our councils, with more to follow soon across the region.
“Thanks to this extra Government funding, we can get the ball rolling to build the right homes in the right places and breathe new life into land which is currently not being used. I’ve already invested millions of pounds to make Church Street even better for local people and this will complement the great work that has already been done.
“More than that, these developments will help secure thousands of jobs in the construction industry, one of the most important sectors to support in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and help create much-needed apprenticeships for our young people.”
Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted that Hartlepool is leading the way on this very important scheme to bring disused land back into use for much-needed new housing, and that the Mayor is providing this funding, which match funds and resources recently approved by the Council for the scheme.
“Subject to planning permission being granted, construction of these first 47 homes is to be welcomed, as it will create vital job opportunities for local people and high quality affordable homes.
“The development will also be a massive boost for the ongoing regeneration of the wider Church Street area, complementing improvements that have already been carried out there.”
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “We are very pleased to be supporting areas like Tees Valley to enable the delivery of homes which will also boost economic growth and job creation locally. The homes built here in the North East form part of our national strategy to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, making the best use of brownfield and urban centre land whilst continuing to protect the Green Belt.
“We have delivered over 1.8 million new homes since 2010 - including 508,000 affordable homes - and over 243,000 additional homes last year, the most in over 30 years.”