Anger as Waterlooville garage is turfed out for new grocery shop

GOING Sean Collins of Collins Autos in Waterlooville is to shut his car business down. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122188-2)
GOING Sean Collins of Collins Autos in Waterlooville is to shut his car business down. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122188-2)

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MECHANIC Sean Collins claims local businesses are being turfed out in favour of commercial giants.

The 31-year-old is angry as he faces going out of business as plans have been agreed to build a new convenience store in Waterlooville.

For years the site, off London Road, near Rowlands Avenue, has been a garage, car showroom and a car wash.

But the land was recently sold off to a property developer.

Planners at Havant Borough Council have agreed to the plans, which include building a convenience store with 11 parking spaces.

Mr Collins, who has run Collins Autos since 2008, now faces having to relocate or at worst, go out of business.

He says he has been offered a six-month lease, with two weeks’ notice.

Mr Collins said: ‘It’s wrong to shut local businesses so a nationwide store can open.

‘There were 29 objections to it.

‘Two weeks is not a long time to shut my business down and relocate. It’s totally unreasonable.’

The car wash and car sales room have already moved off the site.

Mr Collin’s employee Glen Trevithick, 30, added: ‘It makes me sick that these corporations keep buying up land and building yet more of these carbon copy stores everywhere – they have the money and the power to do whatever they want.’

The developers’ planning report to the council said they considered other sites – including the vacant Curzon Rooms in Waterlooville town centre – but found this was the only viable location.

The report says: ‘This application proposes the erection of a new retail store that has been carefully and sensitively designed to appear as an appropriate feature on this corner location, whilst being in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding area, so that it does not appear as prominent or dominant in the street scene and improves the current appearance of the site.’

Tesco was rumoured to be interested in the site.

But a statement from the company said: ‘We do not own this site nor do we have a lease on it.

‘If or when this changes we will write to residents and councillors in the local community to let them know.’

No-one at Bacchus Partners, which is understood to be the landowner, was available for comment.