Portsmouth Water could move its Havant headquarters to make way for 135 new town centre homes

Bosmere Medical Centre in West Street, Havant. Picture: Google Street View
Bosmere Medical Centre in West Street, Havant. Picture: Google Street View
Share this article
0
Have your say

A WATER firm’s plan to relocate to a new headquarters less than a mile away could free up its old site for the construction of 135 new homes.

Portsmouth Water is eyeing up a move from West Street, in Havant, to green land it owns next to Bosmere Medical Centre in Solent Road.

An aerial view of Bosmere Medical Centre in Solent Road, centre, with land that could be used for the new development, including Portsmouth Water's new headquarters, to its north and west. Picture: Google Street View

An aerial view of Bosmere Medical Centre in Solent Road, centre, with land that could be used for the new development, including Portsmouth Water's new headquarters, to its north and west. Picture: Google Street View

Havant Borough Council bosses say the proposal could pave the way for 135 of the ‘most sustainable’ homes to be built at the firm’s old HQ. 

It is hoped they could attract residents with low carbon footprints, who would walk or cycle to the town centre or travel elsewhere on the train.

‘It’s a good site to live in for people who are retiring or want to commute,' said councillor Tim Pike, the council’s deputy leader and planning boss.

‘Being close to the town centre, it’s good perhaps for people not having to use a car every day.’ 

Portsmouth Water's current headquarters in West Street, Havant. Picture: Google Street View

Portsmouth Water's current headquarters in West Street, Havant. Picture: Google Street View

READ MORE: Cocaine worth £1.3m seized from vessel at Portsmouth International Port

He added: ‘It’s also very much welcome that Portsmouth Water is committing its long-term future to the borough.’ 

About 100 staff work at Portsmouth Water’s current site and its new HQ would be two storeys high with ‘extensive glazing'. It will be built alongside an extra 2,000sqm of office space for start-up businesses.

The move would be a downsize, the firm says, as its office now is ‘a lot larger' than required, with departments based across multiple buildings. 

A grass buffer would separate the entire build and Solent Road, with units angled to respect the Grade II-listed Old Manor House in Brockhampton Road and the Brockhampton Conservation Area. 

READ MORE: Havant woman, 64, banned from Burger King after row with staff over 'ridiculous' ice cream portions

Ray Cobbett, chairman of Havant Friends of the Earth, said the ecology of the old and new sites ‘must be added to' if a move takes place.

It comes after the West Street site was identified to have protected trees and is sometimes used by Brent Geese and Solent Waders. 

‘Portsmouth Water are quite an environmentally reasonable organisation and I would expect them to go to the highest possible standards if that's what they wanted to do,' said Mr Cobbett.

A spokesman for Portsmouth Water said the ‘exciting' move is necessary as its current, 1960s-built HQ needs ‘urgent repair and refurbishment’.

READ MORE: Up to 100 homes to be built on former Havant factory site in £22m plan

He added: ‘We do not anticipate our 730,000 customers will be impacted by this move at all.

‘We will continue to have the same area of supply running from the west of Fareham to Arundel, taking in the key conurbations of Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant and Chichester.’ 

Developer Chancerygate, which is behind the new build, said access to the Solent Road site will come from widening the medical centre turn-off. 

No planning application has officially been submitted for the proposals. 

They will go on public display at a development consultation forum at Havant's Public Service Plaza at 5.30pm on October 22.