HAYLING’S 80-year-old funfair could be turned into housing.
Funland’s owners, like many businesses on the island and across Havant and Waterlooville, have put forward the prime four-acre seafront land as a potential housing site in Havant Borough Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.
But the families who own the site, the Hills and Coggers, insist it was only a ‘fallback’ plan and they have no intention of closing or selling the funfair in the near future.
The news comes as the council releases the dates for exhibitions detailing potential housing sites across the borough which the public have a chance to comment on.
John Hill, 50, said: ‘We’ve got no plans to do anything apart from carry on doing what we’re doing.
‘We’re in it because the council asked for potential sites and like quite a lot of businesses on the island we put ours forward.
‘In business we always have to have a plan B.
‘You don’t know what will happen in the future and the economic conditions could get worse.
‘We’re all getting older and the government brings out more and more legislation making it harder for us all the time.
‘Whether in business or life in general you need a fallback plan and that’s what this is, it would be foolish not to, pure and simple. But we have no plans to do anything now.
‘I’ve heard rumours that we’ve sold or we’re going to sell but it’s not true.’
Many people are opposed to the plan.
Hayling West councillor Victor Pierce-Jones, said: ‘It does worry me because the funfair contributes to Hayling’s all year round attraction as a seaside resort.
‘I used to think they did a jolly good job keeping it open in all weathers.
‘Having said that there are obviously financial pressures everywhere at the moment and the land is valuable.
‘I’d be very sorry to see it go but they have got to have a fallback plan as there is so much pressure these days and banks can be very tough.’
The council needs to find 5,000 new homes in the borough and nine football pitch-sized employment spaces.
More than 80 plots are being considered as potential housing sites, including farmland, car parks, recrea-tion grounds, allotments and school playing fields.
Most of the sites have been put forward by landowners expressing an interest in them being developed.
· May 9, Waterlooville
11am to 2pm at Waterlooville Library
6pm to 8pm at Waterlooville Community Centre
· May 11, Emsworth
11am to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm at Emsworth Methodist and Pastoral Centre, 19 High Street
· May 15, Havant and Bedhampton
11am to 2pm at The Meridian Centre
6pm to 8pm at the Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road
· May 23, Leigh Park
11am to 2pm trailer outside Tesco, Greywell Road, 6pm to 8pm, The Hub, 39 Park Parade
· May 24, Hayling Island
11am to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm at URC Church, Hollow Lane
n All areas, 6pm to 8pm at The Public Service Plaza