Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Planners Think Big to Put Tees Town on the Tourist Trail

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Planners Think Big to Put Tees Town on the Tourist Trail

Article excerpt

Paris, New York and Hartlepool?

The Teesside town might not be the first place you would put in a list of the world's great locations.

But Hartlepool's Victoria Harbour regeneration project has drawn inspiration from the finest examples of urban planning - from Baron Hausmann's sweeping Parisian boulevards to New York's vibrant street system.

A flick through the freshly-submitted masterplan for Victoria Harbour reveals the depth of ambition for the dockland scheme that will see homes, offices and leisure facilities developed over 20 years.

Urban regeneration company Tees Valley Regeneration is leading the development and project director Sarah Robson says the town shouldn't be afraid to think big.

"We have looked at cities such as Copenhagen and Paris and obviously these are much larger but we have also seen what has been done in places such as Bilbao or even Doncaster.

"There has been major regeneration in Liverpool, London, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and you can even see how well a development such as the Marina has done in Hartlepool.

"What daunts some people is the scale of the development and that is why we have gone into such great detail in drawing up the masterplan."

Victoria Harbour is the latest phase in the regeneration of Hartlepool that has seen the town emerge from its post-industrial turmoil to become a popular North-east tourist destination.

Under the plan, around 200 acres of Hartlepool's dockland will become the site for the pounds 500m mixed-use development.

New homes, business and leisure facilities are proposed that will transform the under-used brownfield site into a major attraction for the North-east.

Also included in the proposal is a plan to link the Marina with the historic Headland area of the town with a pedestrian and cycle bridge.

The Wave will be a landscaped park stretching the length of the site and will lead to a new coastal promenade and bring attractive green space to the scheme.

Under the plans, the port will remain in operation but on a smaller site.

Plans were unveiled by Tees Valley Regeneration last October and have now gone before Hartlepool Council for planning permission approval.

The proposals have been split in four phases planned over 20 years.

Sarah says the development is a crucial opportunity for Hartlepool.

"This is a massive, massive plan that will see 4m sq ft of development over the next 20 years.

"We have now finished an extensive consultation period where we have spoken to a whole range of people from local residents and local organisations to people such as the Arts Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

"We have got about 80pc endorsement and several issues have been brought up during that period but a lot of people have been saying 'this is what we have been looking for and it is a great idea'. …

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