The end is not quite nigh as failed shopping village waits for the axe

NO FUTURE? Rumours are circulating that the Whiteley Village shopping centre is to be demolished.
NO FUTURE? Rumours are circulating that the Whiteley Village shopping centre is to be demolished.
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BOSSES of an outlet shopping village have denied a date has been set for its demolition.

Rumours are circulating that Whiteley Village in Whiteley is to be knocked down this April, but the centre’s manager has said its owners are still waiting for final permission to be granted.

Although Winchester City Council granted permission for revised plans for the new £100m town centre last December, an appeal by neighbouring Fareham Borough Council has put a halt to proceedings.

It claims the new centre will be too big for the community it is designed to serve and would have a detrimental impact on its own town centre.

As a result it has lodged an appeal and they are now waiting on a decision from the Government Office for the South East.

Regarding a date for demolition, Andrew Rollings, the centre’s manager, said: ‘No decision has been made. As of the end of last week we still don’t have the planning consent in our hands.’

And he denied that some shops having closing down sales meant the buildings were soon to be flattened.

He added: ‘The fact that some stores are leaving or have left has no bearing on it, that’s just the retail world and is common, particularly at the start of the year.’

But Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said he had heard the site was earmarked for demolition this spring: ‘While I thought it was never going to succeed, one does question the logic of knocking it all down.

‘It doesn’t have the right shops, but why does it then need the wholesale demolition? It does seem extreme.’