Hartlepool’s popular music school is expanding offering piano, voice, flute and violin lessons – but a promise made to neighbors there will be no drums

Proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning department earlier this year to convert two vacant flats on the corner of Stockton Road and Cornwall Street for use as part of a music school.

Kathryn Sirs’ plans indicate that they would be part of the Kate Sirs School of Music, which already occupies the ground floor of the building.

A report from Jane Tindall, the council’s senior planning officer, confirmed the proposals have been given the green light and are expected to benefit the area.

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The music school said it offers a range of lessons – but does not intend to teach drums.

She said: “The proposed development would see an existing business in a designated local core area expand.

“This would support the vitality and viability of the region.

“The development is not considered to have a negative impact on visual amenity, amenity to neighboring land users or traffic safety.”

A planning statement previously submitted on behalf of the claimant described how the move would result in business expansion and more staff being employed.

He said: “The extra space will allow me to employ more staff and allow current staff to extend their hours.

“Our teaching is mainly on a 1-1 basis for 30-60 minutes and our taught disciplines are piano, voice, flute and violin.

“We have no intention of teaching instruments such as drums as the sound would disrupt other lessons and there are already many established drum teachers in town.”

The school has six part-time staff members, which are expected to increase to 10 after approval, according to planning documents.

Miss Sirs added that she has rented the unit for about 10 years with no complaints and hopes to stay there for as long as possible.

Planning documents note that the school’s teaching hours are approximately 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

The conversion is to see the previous bedroom and living room of the first floor apartment become teaching rooms, each with electric pianos to minimize noise disturbance.

The same works will be carried out in the bedroom and living room of the old apartment on the second floor, while the bathroom and kitchen will remain as they are.

Plans are subject to a diagram demonstrating appropriate sound insulation between the application site and the adjacent property.

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