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Multi-million pound development gets the go-ahead.

A potential major obstacle to the pounds 500m development of Victoria Harbour in Hartlepool has been removed after council bosses approved outline consent for the scheme.

The development, which will include homes, offices and shops, has been rubber stamped by borough councillors after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's office said on January 19 that it would not call in the planning application for a public inquiry instead batting it back to the local authority.

Project director Sarah Robson, of Tees Valley Regeneration, said: "The big hurdles have been overcome. We have yet to sign a section 106 agreement with the local authority but we have terms virtually agreed on that."

The Highways Agency delayed the scheme for more than 10 months after placing an Article 14 order on the scheme until a new transport assessment was provided. Ms Robson said it dropped its objections after the partnership agreed to improve two junctions on the A19 as part of the project, which will see 3,430 homes, 600,000sqft of offices and employment space, 180,000sqft of shops and 10,000sqft of leisure buildings on the land, owned by PD Ports.

Joe Docherty, chief of Tees Valley Regeneration, said: "The development will mean a lot to the town in terms of major investment, new jobs, new leisure and community facilities and represents a huge contribution to the physical and economic regeneration of the town."

David Easson, group property director for PD Ports, said: "The planning decisions by both Hartlepool and the Government Office are a tremendous endorsement of our vision to transform this underused and inaccessible area in a vibrant waterside community of regional importance."

PD Ports and Tees Valley Regeneration will call for expressions of interest for the 20-year project from developers in the Autumn.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2006
Words:295
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