Campaign to save landmark building in Havant town centre

UNCERTAIN FUTURE The White Hart pub in Havant is under threat as part of plans for the town centre
UNCERTAIN FUTURE The White Hart pub in Havant is under threat as part of plans for the town centre

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A CAMPAIGN is mounting to save a historic pub from demolition amid proposals to regenerate Havant town centre.

Community leaders say demolishing the 123-year-old White Hart Pub would be a sad loss of the town’s heritage.

The Victorian pub is currently empty, having been sold to a Southampton-based company for £155,000.

Residents are hoping to see if they can get the building listed.

It comes as the council is set to go out for consultation on speculative proposals to create a new town square.

The area for redevelopment extends from Poppins cafe in North Street to the Bear Hotel in East Street.

Apart from listed buildings, Glanville’s old offices and the older part of the Bear Hotel, the present buildings would be demolished and replaced with 73 homes, of which half would be flats.

Some properties would have shops or restaurants.

In West Street the area next to the church would be widened and flattened, giving full pedestrian access to create a plaza.

Ray Cobbett, from Hampshire Friends of the Earth, said: ‘This road is definitely the most architecturally interesting in the entire borough.

‘It’s an architecturally rich street which deserves the greatest possible care in its development.’

He added: ‘People are not opposed to development.

‘The worrying thing is about the pub. It’s a landmark building.’

The White Hart is included in a council conservation area and is noted for its ‘very elaborately carved terracotta panels into the façade’.

The plans were drawn up by HGP Architects in Fareham after being commissioned by the council.

Deputy leader David Guest said a public exhibition would be held soon and he was keen to hear people’s views about regenerating this part of Havant, where there are several empty buildings.

The pub’s owner, Heritage Property Southern Limited, was not available for comment.

VIEW FROM THE CHURCH

CHURCH leaders say they have yet to form a view on the plans, which could involve removing a 200-year-old wall next to St Faith’s Church.

This has led to questions over the future of the gravestones behind this wall.

Minutes from the annual parochial church council meeting state they are ‘continuing exploratory discussions with Havant Borough Council over the creation of the ‘town square’

Canon Peter Jones, from St Faith’s Church, said: ‘I am in discussions with my parochial church council. We have yet to form a view on it.’

He added: ‘We won’t be able to come to any view until we have seen what’s being proposed.’