People have their say on future plans for Havant town centre

EXHIBITION Plans for a redevelopment of East Street and St Faith's Church area in Havant went on public display in The Meridian Centre, Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122671-047)
EXHIBITION Plans for a redevelopment of East Street and St Faith's Church area in Havant went on public display in The Meridian Centre, Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122671-047)

Museum to tour festival

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Have your say

DEMANDS were made for Havant’s war memorial and an iconic pub to remain untouched as proposals for the future of the town went on show.

While many welcomed the council’s regeneration plans for the town centre, there was staunch opposition to demolishing the 123-year-old White Hart pub and moving the war memorial.

EXHIBITION Plans for a redevelopment of East Street and St Faith's Church area in Havant went on public display in The Meridian Centre, Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122671-047)

EXHIBITION Plans for a redevelopment of East Street and St Faith's Church area in Havant went on public display in The Meridian Centre, Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122671-047)

Hundreds of people went to look at the proposals at the Meridian Centre.

The plans include creating a new town square next to St Faith’s Church, with public gardens and lawns for people to enjoy.

The town’s crossroads would become semi-pedestrianised.

Using land currently occupied by St Faith’s Church hall and the Bear Hotel car park, there would be a courtyard style residential development.

One option would be to demolish the White Hart pub, while another option would keep the Victorian building.

Proposals were outlined to move the war memorial – which was unveiled in 1922 at the crossroads – to the new town square or within the new public gardens of St Faith’s Church.

Mary Youldon, 76, of Park House Farm Way, Leigh Park, said: ‘I don’t think they should touch Havant.

‘We have a park to go to if people want to relax.

‘I don’t think the war memorial should be moved.

‘It’s lovely and part of our heritage.’

Jackie Bampton, 66, of Mitchell Road, Bedhampton, said: ‘It should be residential.

‘But keep the White Hart and leave the church and the war memorial alone.

‘They must not touch it – it would be sacrilege.’

The council has proposed relocating the memorial to allow a more spacious area for Remembrance services.

It is hoped the town square would become an area for bars and restaurants, with ideas including a market and street entertainers.

The council’s deputy leader David Guest said: ‘It’s taken a lot of hard work to get this far. Nothing has been set in stone – it’s all open for public consultation.

‘People have to be realistic in financial terms – it has to work.

‘If there’s no investment in our town, the town will not progress.

‘We need that investment. We need to retain the listed buildings and we need to retain as many of the old buildings as we possibly can.’

Any development would be funded by a private developer.

Mixed views over ideas for redevelopment

THE consultation attracted mixed views from people of all ages.

Jo Wright, 34, of West Street, Havant, said: ‘We have lived here for five years.

‘It seems to have shut down since we have been here with lots of charity shops. Havant needs something.’

Pam Ambrose, 77, of Beresford Close, Waterlooville, said: ‘My grandfather, Henry Wood, was the first postmaster of Havant.

‘I am horrified. I don’t agree with any of it.’

Martine Watson, 55, of Stansted Crescent, West Leigh, said: ‘I am really impressed. It’s a really good idea.

‘It will slow down traffic and brings it all together.’

Gwendoline Brown, 73, of Perseus Place, Crookhorn, said: ‘It should be left as it is.’

Ray Cobbett, of Beach Road, Emsworth, said: ‘My view is it should be conservation-led.

‘It’s a town with a thousand years of history and it’s a great opportunity to re-establish an identity for the town.

‘St Faith’s is probably the only place left in the borough without a community centre.

‘The parish hall, refurbished, could do extremely well.’

Jackie Branson, a councillor for St Faith’s ward, said she would like to see a national chain restaurant move into East Street and it could have a domino effect and attract others.

The consultation continues tomorrow from midday to 2pm and on Friday from 2pm to 4pm.

The consultation is also available online at havant.gov.uk