Blot on Leigh Park landscape could be no more amid housing bid

Images show an artist's impression of how the development off Bramdean Drive in Leigh Park could look
Images show an artist's impression of how the development off Bramdean Drive in Leigh Park could look
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AN EYESORE near a busy row of shops could become a thing of the past.

For several years, residents have despaired at the grotty derelict site on the corner of Bramdean Drive and Botley Drive in Leigh Park.

The land was formerly the Wheatsheaf pub, but the drinking hole was demolished to make way for much-needed housing.

But, despite plans for 14 two-bedroom flats being approved in 2007, nothing has come to pass.

Finally developers have submitted fresh plans for a three and four-storey building including 15 one and two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom houses. The development site has now been made slightly bigger to include the demolition of an empty off-licence, as well as garages.

Jackie Russell, who works at nearby Farm Stores greengrocer in Botley Drive, said: ‘It’s better to have something there.

‘It’s a mess when you walk past.

‘It’s not nice when people visit from outside Leigh Park.’

Leigh Park Councillor Faith Ponsonby said: ‘I welcome anything that will make more homes available for people on the housing list.

‘This is very convenient because there’s a shopping parade there. There are schools nearby. It’s a really convenient setting for families.

‘It removes an eyesore that has looked awful on that corner for ages.’

‘It’s opposite the old Methodist Church which is now an Evangelical church centre and there’s a nursery. It’s an up-and-coming area.’

She was pleased that brownfield sites in Havant borough were being developed.

‘I would much rather we fill in more,’ she said.

‘Extending out the suburbs is not necessarily a good thing.’

A planning report by Collingwood Investments Ltd states: ‘The proposed parking configuration, accommodating 19 car spaces ensures that vehicular access is maintained to the rear of all existing adjacent shops and that there is sufficient space for servicing and manoeuvring.

‘All apartments have access to the rear communal amenity area.

‘The ground-floor apartments also have access to outside amenity area. The proposed houses include rear gardens which are maximised for family use.’