Turf cutting ceremony as £90m business park is launched

Island homes plan is ‘cookie cutter project’

  • Government minister visits industrial site being built on the edge of Leigh Park
  • Portsmouth City Council has invested £5m of its own cash to build new access road
  • Site should create more than 3,000 jobs
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IT’S a massive boost to the economy that has been talked about for the past decade – and now it’s finally happening.

On a windy and rainy morning, MPs and civic leaders gathered at Dunsbury Hill Farm for an official turf-cutting ceremony.

Work is well under way on laying out the business park, next to junction 3 of the A3(M), which is set to create at least 3,700 jobs.

The minister for local growth, James Wharton, was taken on a tour of the 50-acre site and got to see the first plot being developed.

A huge distribution centre is being built by Bam Construction and Portsmouth City Council, which owns the farmland near Leigh Park, is in advanced negotiations for international clothing brand FatFace to be the occupier.

The building should be finished by the autumn and the £10m access road on to the site should be complete by April.

From left, Havant MP Alan Mak,  minister for local growth James Wharton, and Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones ''Picture: Sarah Standing (160165-1509)

From left, Havant MP Alan Mak, minister for local growth James Wharton, and Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones ''Picture: Sarah Standing (160165-1509)

The council and the Local Enterprise Partnership have jointly funded the access road and it is hoped more businesses will come on board and be attracted to the site’s excellent transport links.

The finished park will have several warehouses and factories and a hotel is also on the cards.

Mr Wharton told The News: ‘It’s a really impressive development.

‘It’s going to be exciting and create very welcome jobs that people will benefit from for many years to come.’

Council leader Donna Jones said: ‘Our big client and the people who have already agreed to come to the site is FatFace.

‘We anticipate that will create around 400 jobs in Havant, which is great news for the area.’

Mr Wharton also visited The Plaza in Havant to talk about devolution for Hampshire and visited the 3,000-home development being built in Waterlooville. In the afternoon he went on to visit the multi-million pound transport interchange at The Hard in Portsmouth.