PLANS to build a high-rise block of flats in Havant town centre have come under fire.
Members of Havant Over-50s Forum have criticised the plans unveiled for Market Parade.
The proposals feature a £15m building with 120 apartments and six retail units on land of the former Star pub on the east side of Market Parade.
There would be a feature tower of up to eight storeys, stepping down to five storeys.
But Jackie Bampton, from the forum, who lives in Bedhampton, said: ‘We need to move forward and encourage new businesses to come to Havant but this proposal could well be a step too far – far too many flats and not enough parking spaces.
‘Emsworth is a thriving community with lots of old buildings, so why not Havant?
‘I say go back to the drawing board, rethink and give us a beautiful unique place to shop – not tall flats that will not look right for Havant.’
Pete Walden, from Havant, chairman of the forum, said: ‘I and many other residents say no to what is planned for Market Parade.
‘We do not want those high-rise flats. We say pull down the Meridian Centre, build small shops.’
He also suggested the pedestrianised part of West Street should be opened again to traffic.
He added: ‘Come on Havant council, get your finger out and think again.’
The plans for Market Parade, drawn up by Hampshire and Regional Property Group, went on show at Havant Meeting Place and there were several positive comments from traders and residents.
Councillor David Guest, in charge of regeneration at Havant Borough Council, was not concerned the block of flats might have 58 parking spaces as it would be next to a railway station and bus station.
He said Market Parade was ‘past its sell by date’.
‘The fact is so much housing is needed and the only way to get it is going up,’ he said.
‘We want to preserve our parks and open spaces.’
He added: ‘I believe in renewal and regeneration and helping the generation that comes after me.
‘I want to leave a legacy in the town that gives us opportunity. Whatever the proposals are, they will be dealt with through the process of law and planning.’
A planning application is expected to be submitted later this autumn.