Concerns have been raised by a farming family over the impact of road closures on their business once a new bypass has been built.

Susan Leonard, 73, has said her family have run Dovecote Farm, in Elwick, for nearly 100 years.

Yet she has raised worries over how plans for a new junction to the nearby A19 involve closing key routes for their farm. 

The Hartlepool Western Link project proposals, previously known as the Elwick bypass, include stopping all access to and from the A19 via Church Bank as well as preventing vehicles joining the A19 from Coal Lane.

Ms Leonard has said the changes will stop vehicles being able to turn left from their farm to join the A19 southbound and added that the alternative route, which would involve passing through Elwick village to join the new bypass, will be “dangerous” and “impossible” for larger farm vehicles due to weight restrictions and “far too narrow” roads.

The Northern Farmer: Elwick sign where new route into Hartlepool will be created

She continued: “This would affect the running of our arable farm. I can see it drawing us to a close.

“Literally they’re trapping us in. It will leave us with a farm that won’t be able to be sold because of it.

“Over the other side of the A19 people are complaining as well because they’re saying you’re now cutting us right off from village life.”

Relatives who live on the farm include her 97-year-old father, Fred Grieves, who has lived there since he was two weeks old.

Similar objections have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council by neighbouring businesses and landowners. 

Discount Equestrian said in its correspondence: “I am concerned this closure will affect the viability of our company as we will not be able to successfully operate with a reduction in customers and inability to take delivery of products.” 

The council said in response to the concerns that it could not comment while the scheme is “going through the planning process”.

The £24m-£26m project  is due to be discussed by the authority’s planning committee “early in the new year”.

Council bosses previously said the near mile-long new road will provide a “safe and effective” third main access point into Hartlepool and help relieve congestion on roads.