Redundant buildings may boost business if Waterlooville hotel plan is agreed

JD Wetherspoon is closing all its social media accounts. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA

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TRADERS hope plans for a new hotel are given the green light to provide a boost for Waterlooville businesses.

Havant Borough Council will decide next week whether BAE Systems can build a 60-bedroom hotel and restaurant, car showroom and drive-through on the site of redundant buildings at Brambles Farm industrial estate.

The multi-million pound plans have been welcome as BAE Systems says it will create nearly 300 jobs.

A new cycle and pedestrian path will be created linking the southern end of Elettra Avenue to the 2,500-home Newlands estate, just west of the industrial park.

Janet Johnston, secretary of Waterlooville Business Association, said: ‘For years we have said Waterlooville needs a hotel.

‘There are times when we have had events on and people have to find somewhere to stay. There are bed and breakfasts but not somewhere businessmen can stay easily. I’ve seen the plans and they are very good.’

Councillor Ray Bastin, who represents Waterloo ward, said: ‘A hotel, especially with the new development going up, will send out the message to businesses that Waterlooville is expanding and encourage them to open there too.’

But a report to the planning committee reveals the council’s economic development team is not convinced by a drive-through restaurant.

It said: ‘We have strong reservations about the need for a fast food drive-through restaurant.

‘The area is already well served with fast food outlets which do little to attract visitors to the borough or enhance the choices available to residents.’

It went on: ‘We believe that a better quality restaurant such as a pizza chain or bistro would compliment the hotel restaurant, add to the visitor offer and provide a better choice for residents.’

If the go-ahead is given, a condition will be placed on developers that they must use specialist equipment to disperse the odours produced by the drive-through after the issue was also raised by the environmental health team.

The meeting is at 5pm on September 18 at the Public Service Plaza.