Outrage at green light for Hayling retirement complex

An artist's impression of what the McCarthy & Stone development at the former Hayling Billy site in Elm Grove on Hayling Island

An artist's impression of what the McCarthy & Stone development at the former Hayling Billy site in Elm Grove on Hayling Island

Pub campaigners vow to never stop fighting

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a retirement complex on the site of a former pub on Hayling Island have been approved.

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone’s bid to build 33 apartments on the old site of the Hayling Billy has been approved by Havant Borough Council’s development management committee.

But the prospect of more housing on Elm Grove has heightened concerns for the island’s infrastructure.

Councillors in favour of the application won by a narrow margin by four votes to three.

Hayling East councillor Clare Satchwell opposed the plans, and has expressed her disappointment at the result.

She said: ‘It’s sad to see community spaces turned into housing. I fully understand why people are so frustrated.

‘The planners and the council have to apply the law of the land set by the government.

‘It’s difficult for them to find reasons not to do things.’

The Hayling Billy pub closed in January, four years after the Southern Co-operative bought the land from Enterprise Inns.

McCarthy & Stone has since entered into an agreement with Co-op to redevelop the site.

Anthony Walker, CEO of neighbouring broadband provider Bentley Walker, said the development will put more pressure on roads and medical services.

He said: ‘I’m angry about the approval. It’s a very bad decision because we don’t have an infrastructure to serve this development.’

Mr Walker said that he would have preferred a small retail park on the site, and describes the proposed building as ‘out of character’ with the area.

‘Unless we start fighting, we’re going to see even more development on Hayling’s green fields, and the Roman history and heritage of the island will be steamrolled.’

Shane Paull, McCarthy & Stone’s regional managing director, said: ‘From the outset we have been committed to delivering the right development for this site and have continued to amend the scheme in response to feedback.

‘We can now move forward with our plans to regenerate the site with much-needed accommodation for local older people.’

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