Concerns raised over planning application in New Lane, Havant which could bring thousands of extra vehicle movements to residential area

MEMBERS of the public are raising concerns over a planning application submitted for the development of a ‘Last Mile Delivery’ hub in Havant.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 9:53 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 9:56 am

Havant Borough Council (HBC) has received an application to redevelop the Wyeth Laboratories/Pfizer site at 32 New Lane.

If plans are approved, the site will be redeveloped as a storage and distribution centre where parcels will be brought before being sent out to customers in the Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey areas.

The proposals have been developed with an undisclosed ‘end-user’ in mind.

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The turning north from the site. Picture: Emily Turner

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Only five per cent of deliveries from this centre are expected to be made within Havant, with 95 per cent going to other places within a one-hour catchment area of the site.

The proposals are similar to a plan mooted for Portsmouth last summer, where the Tipner park and ride site was mentioned as a possibility. The idea was to keep as many NGVs out of the city centre as possible.

But people in Havant are concerned at the volume of traffic the new plan could bring to the area.

The turning south from the site. Picture: Emily Turner

It is anticipated that HGVs and vans will leave the site from 6am and the last will return around 11pm.

This could generate around 2,500 truck movements every day through an area with residential properties and schools, according to occupier traffic data in the planning application.

32 New Lane is in the centre of extensive residential development, which means that traffic from the site must pass through congested traffic pinch points.

Many comments from local residents on the planning application on HBC’s website say that they are concerned about the increased traffic this will bring to the area.

Bob Comlay, chair of Havant Civic Society, said: ‘A “last mile delivery” hub would be nothing more than a high-volume traffic generator that makes its revenue by driving other companies’ profits through the town’s constrained streets, leaving nothing of value to the borough in its exhaust.’

HBC’s traffic management team had ‘no adverse comment to make’ on the planning application.

Mr Comlay added: ‘Because of the excessive amount of traffic which would be generated from inside the town, this is in the wrong place.

‘Brockhampton West or Dunsbury Park is where such industry should go, on the edge of town not bang, slap in the middle of it!’

The site in the North Havant Industrial Area has been sold to Havant Property Investment LLP, and plans are to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with another unit.

Havant Property Investment say that this will support employment for local people in line with HBC’s development plan, providing ‘jobs for local people both in the construction phase and once the build is complete’.

However, the planning application does not mention what these new jobs are or how many new jobs could be created.

Furthermore, the application states that the occupier is looking to use 32 New Lane to consolidate their operations from other sites.

April 6 is the cut-off date for anyone wanting to comment on the planning application on the HBC website.

The developer’s website states: ‘The end-user is very conscious of nearby residents, with noise mitigation measures incorporated into the scheme where these are required. A construction management plan will also be in place during the demolition and construction phases if planning permission is granted.’