Employment boost as Waterlooville business park plans are unveiled

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UP TO 300 jobs could be created by a multi-million pound redevelopment of an industrial site in Waterlooville.

BAE Systems has submitted plans for 18 business units, a 60-bedroom hotel, a restaurant, a drive-through takeaway and a car showroom on land off Elettra Avenue at Brambles Farm Industrial Estate.

The 10-acre site features the former Marconi building, which was bought in 2000 by BAE Systems.

The large building is 80 per cent vacant and has become surplus to requirements.

BAE Systems said it has been unable to attract new businesses to occupy the ageing property as it was specifically built for Marconi.

BAE Systems has offices adjacent to the development site and these would stay.

Tony Briggs, leader of Havant Borough Council, said the development would be a boost to the area.

He said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant.

‘Quite clearly business and jobs is what we are looking for.

‘Any business that is empty means we are not getting business rates to the full potential.

‘The more business rates we can get the better it is for everybody concerned.

‘This will be good not only for employment rates in the borough but across the region.’

The development would have 324 parking spaces and would be reached through Elettra Avenue.

The buildings would be laid out in a courtyard style.

The three-storey hotel would have a restaurant attached to it.

David Pink, chairman of Waterlooville Residents’ Association, said: ‘It’s the best place for it.

‘They are making good use of an empty building.’

Chris Wilmshurst, the agent, from Vail Williams, said: ‘It’s a big redundant office.

‘The marketing exercise has shown no-one wanted to move into it.

‘We are putting in a scheme which is going to bring 
new jobs, a variety of 
different uses and hopefully create of bit of interest in that area.

‘It’s a big empty building at the moment doing nothing.

‘We are hoping to bring in employment and a hotel which is needed in the area for business people.

‘The drive-through is a something that has been a long-standing requirement in Waterlooville.’

Councillors will now consider the outline plans and make a final decision.