A £40m revamp of Havant town centre is finally back on the cards.
More than a year after the plans were first mooted, detailed plans and designs have now been submitted by developers to Havant Borough Council.
The plans, which could be the first phase of a wider redevelopment of Market Parade, would see the construction of 130 flats with six large shops on the ground floor.
The development has been delayed by a deluge of planning red tape, including the need for bat surveys.
While many are welcoming the huge investment, the height of the development continues to cause a stir.
Developer Hampshire and Regional Property Group has proposed the apartment block should be 13 storeys high at its highest point.
But Havant historian Ann Griffiths said: ‘I think it’s far too high. It’s too overpowering for Havant town centre in relation to the neighbouring buildings.’
Tim Dawes, from Havant Civic Society, said: ‘We still have concerns about the quality of the finishing and the height.
‘I think the number of storeys is disproportionate to the site and the town in general.
‘There is also a lot of concern about the potential loss of short-term parking and its impact on the small businesses that are facing it on North Street.’
The £15m building is being planned on the site of the former Star pub.
Longer-term plans include a parkside development of restaurants, a gym and a new forecourt for Havant railway station.
A planning report prepared by the developer says: ‘The proposals of a tall building reaching up to 13 storeys in height is considered acceptable given the close proximity to sustainable transport modes and the town centre location.’
The development would include a basement car park for 58 cars.
Councillor David Guest, who is in charge of regeneration in Havant borough, said: ‘I’m very pleased to see plans for the redevelopment of Market Parade.
‘We have waited a long time. There are a lot of issues which need to be addressed very carefully.’