Experts to look at future of historic Havant street

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THE future of a historic part of Havant town centre is coming under the spotlight again.

Havant Borough Council is set to appoint a national planning agent to look at what commercial opportunities there are in East Street.

The Victorian street, which has several empty units, was a contentious topic last year after the council undertook a public consultation on possible ways to revamp the area.

The council worked with developer Barratts to come up with the ideas for a residential development.

But more than a year on nothing has materialised.

Councillor David Guest, deputy leader of the council, said the main stumbling block was that the redevelopment is not currently viable.

There are also several landlords owning the different buildings.

He told The News: ‘It’s a huge development opportunity, but it doesn’t make any money.

‘Despite the fact we have tried getting as many houses that we possibly can, it doesn’t make any money. Even with residential use, if it doesn’t make a profit it won’t happen.’

The planning agents, when appointed, will eventually report back to the council on possible viable schemes.

Cllr Guest added: ‘I would welcome a solution to it tomorrow because I think it looks dreadful. We want to see it changed, but we need people to come together. We are looking for someone to come up with ideas who is prepared to put the investment in.’