MULTIMILLION-POUND plans to regenerate Havant town centre have moved a step closer to becoming a reality.
After years of waiting, plans have finally been submitted to kick-start the regeneration of historic East Street.
Two developers have submitted plans to demolish run-down empty shops and replace them with blocks of flats that blend into the Regency-style buildings.
Meanwhile, developer Shaun Adams is set to unveil revised plans for Market Parade next month as he hopes to create a new residential and restaurant quarter next to the railway station.
His initial designs for a nine-storey glass building were not welcomed by Havant Civic Society, but Mr Adams told The News he had listened to feedback and amended the plans. A planning application could be submitted in October.
Mr Adams said: ‘We have listened and taken great feedback from the locals and from officers. We have made significant changes to our scheme on the basis of that and we look forward to taking them to consultation.’
And he added: ‘I see Havant as an undervalued asset in the Hampshire pot. It’s a very nice location that people seem to bypass and go to Emsworth or Chichester. Havant has a lot of opportunity.’
Developer Peter Yeates has applied to build 11 apartments in a four-storey complex in East Street and another developer has applied to build four apartments in a four-storey building next door.
Developer Bill Rea is also poised to submit plans for the redevelopment of the old Streets building.
Anthony Portal, who sits on the committee at the Havant Club in East Street, said: ‘It does nothing for the town for people to see boarded-up businesses. I can’t believe that bringing these sites back into use is bad news.’
Ray Cobbett, from Havant Friends of The Earth, said: ‘East Street is the finest street in the entire borough if you look at the number of listed buildings. It’s a sadly neglected area in bad need of redevelopment.’
Bill Woods, chairman of the civic society, said: ‘The latest plans for number 7 and number 9 East Street are beautiful.’
However, not everyone has welcomed the East Street plans, with one landlord worried about the height of the buildings proposed.
A final decision on the plans will be made by the council in the coming weeks.
Mr Yeates said he was ‘hopeful’ both sets of plans would be approved by the end of next month.
Cllr Jackie Branson, who sits on the council’s cabinet, said: ‘It shows Havant is an attractive place for people to put their money at the moment. It’s exciting times for Havant.’
The Market Parade consultation is set to take place at the United Reformed Church in Havant in the second week of September.