Anger over retirement homes plan for Hayling pub

The former Hayling Billy pub on Hayling Island 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122002-1)
The former Hayling Billy pub on Hayling Island Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122002-1)

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  • Pub was bought by Co-op in 2012 and let on a peppercorn rent to keep it open
  • It closed in January 2016 despite efforts to save it
  • Developer has met with opposition over plans to turn it into retirement flats
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PLANS to demolish a pub and replace it with 33 retirement flats have come in for heavy criticism.

Developer McCarthy & Stone has unveiled its proposals for the site of the Hayling Billy pub, in Elm Grove.

We are getting to a situation where the island is going to be filled with people and no amenities for them to use.

Regulars put up a fight to save the 50-year-old pub but the owners, Southern Co-operative, closed it in January.
There is now an agreement in place which will see the land developed if McCarthy & Stone wins planning permission from Havant Borough Council.

But Anthony Walker, the chief executive of electronics repair and retail firm Bentley Walker, which is opposite the site, is determined to try to get the plans thrown out.

Mr Walker said: ‘Typically developers do not have to provide as much parking for retirement homes because the thinking is that older people do not drive – but that is nonsense.

‘It will cause dreadful problems if it goes ahead.

‘We’re all up in arms already about the parking problems and congestion around here.

‘This area is not zoned for retirement homes.

‘If the pub goes it should be replaced with shops and offices and perhaps a few houses.

‘We are getting to a situation where the island is going to be filled with people and no amenities for them to use.’

There are other major developments close by, with 300 homes planned for West Town and 200 for Tournerbury Lane.

Traders in Elm Grove have put together a masterplan for the area and submitted it to the council.

Shane Paull, regional managing director of McCarthy & Stone, said: ‘Our plans will ensure a sensitive future use of the site for the community and neighbouring residents.

‘We are keen to work alongside the community to transform this site with a high-quality retirement development.

‘In due course we will begin consulting with the Hayling Island community about our plans.’

A public exhibition will take place on Thursday, May 12 at the Newtown House Hotel, on Manor Road, to discuss the plans with residents and traders.

The exhibition will be open from 3pm to 7pm.