THE former Gales Brewery site in Horndean may be redeveloped after all as another buyer is believed to be just days away from signing on the dotted line.
There was shock earlier this month as Burton Property pulled out of the £20m regeneration of the centre of the village.
This is despite it having already been given planning permission for 73 homes, a doctors’ surgery, care home, shop and offices on the site.
But now Fullers, which took over Gales in 2005 but moved the brewing business to its London base, says it is in advanced negotiations with another developer.
Peter Turner, property director at Fullers, said: ‘We’re optimistic that a deal will be finalised with the new buyers within days, rather than weeks.’
Although he would not reveal the name of the firm, he said the potential buyer only came forward after Burton decided not to go ahead with the plans.
Councillor Sara Schillemore, who sits on Horndean Parish Council, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted. I was very, very concerned when Burton pulled out because Horndean has been living with a huge empty space which could be put to good use and give the community its heart back. There have been rumours on the street for a little while now and everybody is very pleased.’
It is not known whether the new developer will want to change the application already given the go -ahead. But under that agreement the parish council would have been given a new home – the historic Nash Hall.
Councillor Schillemore said she hopes that is still the case. She said: ‘Nash Hall is a lovely old building, big enough to display memorabilia and also for everyone not to be cramped up together as they are in Tyfield House – which is not in such a prominent position.’
A spokesman for Fullers said the Nash Hall issue would be decided at the planning stage.