Major Milestone Achieved as Plans Submitted for Clearing and Demolition Work at Former Steelworks
The South Tees Development Corporation has today (7 July 2020) submitted a planning application for significant preparation and clearing works to develop 120 acres of land at the site.
The work will be carried out on land that was secured by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen last year following a landmark deal with Tata Steel Europe, which resulted in the Development Corporation acquiring 1,420 acres of land.
The new planning application will enable comprehensive remediation of the land and ground engineering works to be carried out. It also comes just weeks after the Development Corporation submitted plans for a new access road and the construction of a new roundabout to improve access to the area of the site known as the Prairie.
The Development Corporation, which Mayor Houchen is the Chairman of, is once again ensuring that the redevelopment of the former Redcar steelworks site benefits the whole region by awarding the contract to a local company.
Hartlepool-based Seymour Civil Engineering has been awarded the contract for phase one of the works which will see almost 50 acres of land remediated.
Separately, a prior approval application has also been submitted for a number of small buildings on the Prairie, including a former locomotive repair shed and oxygen plant tanks. This would lead to the first major demolition work on the site since the land was secured.
The Development Corporation area covers a total of 4,500 acres and work on the 120 acre part of the prairie site is due to begin in September 2020.
Mayor Houchen said: “This is another crucial step in redeveloping this huge area and getting the diggers to work, spades in the ground and clearing up the former steelworks site as quickly as possible.
“Once again, the work is being carried out by a fantastic Hartlepool business which is employing local people, more important than ever during this difficult time. Having a business like Seymour involved also once again shows it won’t just be the surrounding community that will benefit, it will be the whole of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“Seymour’s has been working at the former Redcar steelworks since we were successful in our Compulsory Purchase Order battle against SSI and the three Thai banks, they’ve done a great job onsite already and I’m pleased they will be doing more work on a different part of the Prairie site.
“This latest work will mean we can get the new investment on to the site and we can get on with creating good quality, high-skilled local jobs for local people which I have promised to the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as part of my recovery plan.
“We will also shortly see the first demolition work of the smaller buildings on the site, which I know will be a significant moment for many people, and goes to show once again that we are not wasting any time – we are getting on with the work that I promised to those former steelworkers and their families.
“I have worked tirelessly to take ownership of the full site and we are getting on with the job.”
Jacob Young, MP for Redcar and South Tees Development Corporation Board member, said: “We’re determined to deliver on our plans for the former steelworks site, and this is another step in the right direction.
“This isn’t just talk, this is genuine progress towards clearing the site as quickly as possible ready for redevelopment.
“Since Ben’s successful Compulsory Purchase Order of the site, not a second has been wasted in its transformation. This is another step towards bringing thousands of high-skilled jobs back to Teesside.
“The fact that the work is being carried out by Hartlepool firm Seymour, employing Teessiders in the process, is just another sign of our commitment to our region as a whole.”
Councillor Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council and South Tees Development Corporation Board member, said: “The progress now being made on-site is fantastic to see. After only a matter of weeks, we have planning applications in for a new roundabout and improved access to the site, although these are, of course, subject to approvals. Now we’re pushing to get the first pockets of land ready for investment. Using local contractors and providing employment opportunities are really important when awarding such a contract and it’s great to see a local business doing so.
“There is a long road ahead for the site but these steps are critical in showing our determination to succeed and, as we start to emerge slowly from the Covid-19 pandemic, this news is a significant starting point.”