OLDER residents of Havant have voiced their opposition to radical plans to transform the town centre.
Pete Walden, chairman of the influential Havant 50 Plus Forum, says the group is aghast at plans to knock down the 123-year-old White Hart pub on the corner of North Street and East Street, to build new houses and create a plaza.
The ideas for the area, which have been drawn up by Havant Borough Council and are in the early stages, would see a 200-year-old wall next to St Faith’s Church removed.
Landlords in the area have been consulted on plans to knock down a row of shops, from Poppins in North Street, to The Bear Hotel, in East Street, and replace them with 76 homes.
Only listed buildings such as the former Glanvilles solicitors would be left.
Mr Walden said: ‘This is stupid, they must not do this.
‘If they want to improve Havant they should knock down the Meridian Centre and move the bus station to Waterloo Road, near the train station.
‘They should leave the old buildings alone and leave the Havant war memorial. We don’t know what’s going to happen to that.
‘The council should not be allowed to touch the church wall either.
‘We will be objecting to it in the strongest possible terms and putting together a petition against it.’
But the development has been welcomed by businesses who say the area, which has many empty shops, is desperate for regeneration of some sort and the sooner the better.
The agenda for the next Havant 50 Plus meeting, on July 2, has been changed to make the plans the top item.
The meeting is at the Beacon Church, in the Meridian Centre, at 1.30pm until 3.30pm.