A BUSINESS park which has been in the pipeline for decades looks as if it will finally be built – creating up to 2,000 jobs.
Portsmouth City Council, which owns 33 acres of empty fields on the outskirts of Warren Park, has applied for permission to build offices and a hotel.
If the outline plans are given the go-ahead, the scheme will provide up to 1,500 construction jobs.
Portsmouth City Council will have to find the money to build an access road, which will come off Hulbert Road, to make the site an attractive prospect to developers.
Havant councillor Mike Fairhurst, whose Barncroft ward includes most of the site, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that we are at the stage where a formal planning application has been submitted.
‘It will bring thousands of new jobs to Havant and is the most important development in the borough. It’s tremendously good news.
‘We need to find a way of putting together the infrastructure – the roads in the development and how it links with the outside world.’
Councillor Fairhurst said the access road could ease congestion on the Purbrook Way roundabout near Asda, where a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant is set to be built later this year.
Councillor Ann Buckley, who represents the area on Hampshire County Council, also welcomed the move.
She said: ‘This is very good news for Warren Park and Leigh Park.
‘The new jobs would be close to existing housing and there is now a good network of cycleways close to the site and good bus services locally.
‘The road access would not be through Warren Park or Leigh Park – which is important otherwise heavy vehicles and additional traffic would have been an issue.
‘There is a lot of merit in the proposals and there was a lot of support when this was discussed at the planning forum a few months ago.
‘There are lovely walks here and a hotel could do very well.’
A development consultation forum in October revealed that Leigh Park, Havant and Bedhampton, and Waterlooville Community Boards were all in favour of the business park.
A decision should be made by Havant Borough Council by the end of June.
If the plans are approved a detailed application will be submitted later this year.