Permission given to build budget hotel on Langstone field

DECISION TIME The meeting at Havant Borough Council offices last night to debate the hotel plans. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123071-1)
DECISION TIME The meeting at Havant Borough Council offices last night to debate the hotel plans. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123071-1)
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THE go-ahead has been given for a budget hotel and restaurant in Langstone despite more than 120 objections.

The decision was made at a packed Havant Borough Council planning meeting last night despite last-ditch pleas by two residents’ associations.

They wanted councillors to turn down the plans for the 81-room hotel and a family restaurant on Bosmere Field, off Langstone Road.

County and ward councillor Ray Bolton described the proposal as a ‘veritable carbuncle’ at the gateway to Langstone and Hayling while Mark Effenberg, the chairman of Langstone Village Association, said the development would generate, by his reckoning, around 1,036 extra journeys into the access road to Langstone Technology Park, which the hotel would also use.

There was also anger that the developers, Fasset – which runs Langstone Technology Park – put in a last minute application for the family restaurant to be used as a pub.

But the main concerns were over the extra traffic using the access road, the road safety implications and parking issues in nearby residential streets.

Councillor Mike Cheshire moved to have the meeting deferred until a detailed road safety survey had been carried out but could not gain enough support.

Instead, four of the six members of the committee, excluding the chairman, voted for the plans which Fasset say will give the technology park the chance to grow.

Speaking in favour of the development Gary Jeffries, area chairman of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘Six miles down the motorway at Lakeside significant investment is being made in retail space and hotel accommodation to make sure they have the right mix to attract investment.

‘If Langstone Technology Park does not respond it would be a risk. Similar facilities are needed to make sure jobs are kept in the borough.’

One of the conditions of the agreement is that Fasset will contribute to a detailed road safety survey which will look at the traffic problems across the whole of Langstone.

Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray said: ‘I’m concerned about additional parking in the side streets but everywhere in the country is finding this now.’

He went on: ‘There are 2,500 employees at Fasset, it’s at the top of its game.

‘In five years time, if you don’t develop there may be only 1,500 people working there. I feel I have to support the proposal.’