Water firm could move to make way for housing in Havant

Portsmouth Water, which provides drinking water to the area, is proposing to relocate. File picture.
Portsmouth Water, which provides drinking water to the area, is proposing to relocate. File picture.
Mutiny Festival brought over �2m to the local economy Picture: Paul Windsor

Mutiny Festival brings £2.7m into Portsmouth economy

0
Have your say

UP to 160 homes could be built in Havant town centre if a utilities firm moves from its site.

Portsmouth Water, which provides drinking water to the area, is proposing to relocate to the road behind its sprawling complex in West Street.

Managing director Neville Smith said the site is too large for the number of employees it now has as many workers are mobile.

He said: ‘The offices here are old and over the next few years we know we need to do something.

‘Having looked into the cost of refurbishing the offices, it’s probably better for us to build a new office and sell this land for housing.

‘We’ll fund the work on the new offices from the sale of the land, which means our customers won’t have to pay anything towards the move.

‘Refurbishing the existing offices will be expensive compared to building new offices. We have too much land here; more land than we need. When we built these offices we had 500 people.

‘Now it’s about 220 and probably 80 of those don’t reside here. They’re on the road.’

With the site being in the centre of the town it will be considered prime land, with close access to the train and bus stations as well as the A27.

Behind the offices are fields with natural springs.

Mr Smith said the company would never sell the fields. There would also be a covenant on the land which means it can never be used by the properties built in front of it.

Mr Smith added: ‘It will be a nice view but we would never let people go on there because of the springs. They are vital for us. We would never consider building on or selling that land.’

Discussions with Havant Borough Council have begun and it is estimated between 120 and 160 homes could be built in West Street.

‘There is still a lot of work to be done,’ said Mr Smith. ‘At this stage it’s still an if. No firm decisions have been made. But if we go ahead a planning application would be submitted towards the end of the year.’

The firm already owns the land it plans to move to which is close to Bosmere Doctors’ Surgery in Solent Road.