Fareham town centre proposals get mixed reaction at consultation

Members oif the public were invited to chat with officials from Fareham Borough Council about how improvements could be made to Fareham town centre                 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (170235-1)
Members oif the public were invited to chat with officials from Fareham Borough Council about how improvements could be made to Fareham town centre Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170235-1)
St Marys Church was once part of a monastery

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DOZENS of people flocked to give their views on plans to regenerate a town centre.

Under the scheme in Fareham The Ashcroft Arts Centre in Osborn Road would be demolished for housing but part of the centre would be brought to Ferneham Hall in an extension at the venue.

Council bosses hope 700 to 900 homes could be built to help meet the demand for housing in the borough.

On Saturday dozens of people attended one of a series of consultation events, held in West Street, Fareham.

John Moon, 74, of Alum Way, Portchester, said he had a mixed feeling toward the scheme, which he said was vague but housing is needed.

Mr Moon said: ‘I’ve often thought that some of the empty shops and so forth have been empty for years, they could be redeveloped into social housing.

‘It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Ashcroft Centre, it’s difficult to say until you’ve seen the definitive plans.

‘I think to make one building, which is going to do everything, is fine but the acoustics in Ferneham Hall are terrible and they need to be sorted out and probably that could be done at the same time.’

Further consultation events are being held tomorrow in Ferneham Hall between 2pm and 7pm.

Another is being held on Monday, March 13 between 9am and 3pm in the market area of West Street.

Plans are on show at Osborne Square in Fareham Shopping Centre.

Alternatively, see the plans online at fareham.gov.uk

Fareham council leader Sean Woodward has urged people to come along to the consultation events.

He said: ‘Our ambition is to ensure that the town centre remains vibrant or becomes more vibrant.

‘We do need to accommodate more housing over the next 20 years and we’ve keen to see 700 to 900 homes within the town centre. It’s got access to the bus station, railway station, shops, it’s a very sustainable location.

‘We’re really keen to know what people’s views are to help achieve that.’