Communities
need to be more than just housing

COMMENT: Carrier sends out a strong message to the world

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In any expanding community, there needs to be more than just new houses. But it can often be one of those chicken-and-egg scenarios when it comes to providing the necessary infrastructure to go along with all of this housing.

And with the massive developments going on around the Waterlooville area at the moment, that need for infrastructure is being acutely felt.

The West of Waterlooville scheme will ultimately include 3,000 new homes – by the end of last year, 370 had already been completed.

This need is ably demonstrated by the fact that more than 600 people signed a petition in just two days asking for plans to create a huge new leisure complex to go ahead.

At the moment, there has only been a statement from Havant Borough Council saying that Summerbrook intends to submit a new application for ‘a more phased approach’.

But without any more details, it’s hard to know exactly what that encompasses.

Of course, there are other aspects of a new community that are arguably more important, such as schools, health facilities and proper highways.

However, any community without leisure facilities will be a joyless place. It is these kinds of facilities that often get pushed down the list by local authorities as they are not deemed essential.

And while that may be true in the most literal sense, it is not going to lead to the kind of community people want to live in.

Leisure facilities provide places for people to meet, to create groups, clubs and teams. They can be places to let off a bit of steam or allow people to enjoy themselves for a few hours away from their homes.

A cinema and a bowling alley will not cure society’s ills, but they can at least give residents some light relief.s