Plans to extend retail park in Havant town centre

REVAMP An artist's impression of plans that will see a new shop built off Solent Road in Havant and Solent Retail Park extended
REVAMP An artist's impression of plans that will see a new shop built off Solent Road in Havant and Solent Retail Park extended
Chancellor Philip Hammond. Picture: Getty

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MULTI-million pound plans have been submitted to demolish several buildings and extend a retail park in Havant.

The proposals would see redevelopment on 3.6 acres of land off Solent Road with the building of a large shop alongside the existing Solent Retail Park.

Developer Hargreaves Properties Ltd wants to bulldoze buildings that are currently occupied by Pizza Hut, Solent Cleaners, Motomex garage, EMP Tooling Services and Havant Motor Factors.

A two-storey store of more than 80,000sq ft would be built on the site, with space for 250 cars to park.

No particular shops are identified, but the proposals suggest the main use would be the sale of home products, DIY, gardening and clothing.

Part of the building would sell food and there would be a cafe.

The plans suggest it could be a ‘specialist supermarket’ and the building would be aimed at the ‘high-end market’.

The plans have had a mixed reception.

Terry Jordan, chairman of Havant Business Association, said: ‘It’s going to impact on the small traders.

‘They should concentrate on the town centre and the shops we already have.

‘Market Parade and West Street are just becoming full of charity shops.’

Michelle Sawyer, a director at Motomex, said: ‘It was a bit of a shock to us.

‘We have been here 16 years. We have new landlords and we have to move when they tell us. I am hoping when we move we will be able to find somewhere quite local.’

A planning report by Hargreaves states the development would add to ‘the vitality and viability of the town centre’.

It adds: ‘It will greatly improve this important approach along Solent Road to Havant town centre and, by virtue of the removal of outdated/dilapidated buildings, also enhance the setting of the adjoining Conservation Area.’

Council planners are considering the proposals.

St Faith’s Cllr David Guest said: ‘If there were any plans to bulldoze anything then that would need to be fully explained in the effect it would have on jobs and the local economy.’