Community to step in over car park sale

Major Southsea roads closed due to ‘police incident’

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THE first steps towards saving a car park have been made by residents.

The car park between Havant Road and Copse Lane, in Hayling Island, is up for sale after 30 years being used by shoppers and residents.

The sale came as a shock to people living in the north of the island because they rely on the 15 spaces and thought they were owned by Havant Borough Council.

But the car park is owned by a private trust and is being sold off despite it being the only place to park for residents of a row of terraced houses in nearby Havant Road.

Hemmy Patel, owner of Stoke Post Office, fears her business will be hit if the car park goes.

Now North Hayling Residents Association has agreed to apply for a Community Right to Bid on the car park – which could secure a six-month stay of execution while the community secures funds to bid for it.

Jeanette Stenning, of Copse Lane, said: ‘Everyone around here will be lost without the car park. Lots of people are against it being sold. It’s been a car park for 30 years, it was quite a shock to see a “for sale” board up.

‘The Community Right to Bid application will give us some breathing space.’

Mrs Patel’s family has owned the Post Office for 24 years. She said: ‘It is essential. There isn’t anywhere else to park unless you stop on the main road for 20 minutes. And that causes traffic to back up. All the businesses here are worried about it.’

The council has leased the car park since 1984.

Council leader Tony Briggs said he was now considering the way forward, which includes renewing the lease, buying the site and assisting the community in the Right to Buy bid.

He said the council is, ‘looking at all options available at being able to retain this car park which is very important for that area of Hayling Island’.