A NEW business park has been approved in Havant – potentially paving the way for a large new retail store.
Councillors at Havant Borough Council voted to approve plans for the trade park, off Solent Road.
This will involve demolishing an empty industrial building and putting in modern units.
Hargreaves, which owns the industrial site, also wants to redevelop a big stretch of land across the road that is home to Pizza Hut, Motomex, Solent Cleaners, EMP Tooling Services and Havant Motor Factors.
By demolishing these buildings, Hargreaves proposes to extend Solent Retail Park with a two-storey store of more than 80,000sq ft with space for 250 cars to park.
Now that the trade park has been approved, Hargreaves could now ask businesses if they want to move across the road – paving the way for the retail development.
Regarding the trade park, Councillor Cyril Hilton said: ‘The developers have gone a long way to making sure this building is acceptable.
‘It will bring the area up to a decent state – that’s what’s needed.
‘The extra employment it provides might not be hundreds or thousands of jobs but it will be a benefit.’
No particular shops are identified in the expansion of the retail park, but proposals suggest the main use would be the sale of home products, DIY, gardening and clothing.
A high end food shop has also been suggested.
Michelle Sawyer, director of Motomex, said if she was offered the new site she would consider moving her company there.
A spokesman for the developer said: ‘Hargreaves are pleased with the planning committee’s decision to approve their application for this site.
‘They see it being the first step towards their ambition to revitalise Solent Road, west of their existing highly successful and popular Solent Retail Park, by replacing existing obsolete and in some instance unoccupied premises west of the Solent Retail Park and the Tesco store with modern new premises which should provide a variety of new employment opportunities.’
A separate planning application for the new retail store has been submitted.
A decision should be made by the end of November.