WHAT a way to start the year! We’ve been having a look around the wider Portsmouth region and coming up with just some of the highlights of the year ahead.
There will be projects that will be started, and projects that will be finished.
There’ll be football clubs that become fan-owned, and there will be people standing up and fighting for the means to make their towns, villages and homes better.
Kicking it all off for Portsmouth will be work beginning on the regeneration of Tipner next week.
On January 7 the work starts on putting in new roads on the derelict land.
‘It’s the dawn of a new age for Tipner,’ said Mike Hancock, the cabinet member for regeneration on Portsmouth City Council.
‘Tipner is the opening salvo for a great year for Portsmouth, beginning on January 7.
‘The masterplans for the city centre and the seafront are so important and I’m delighted to see them come to fruition.
‘We’ve got to learn to adapt with the times.
‘2013 is going to be a very good year and things are happening for Portsmouth.
‘The Mary Rose is a given, and that’s going to win awards, not only for how it looks on the outside, but also for how spectacular it is on the inside.’
Gosport has also got big plans for its attractions, with hopes the Clipper round the world yacht race will start from the town in 2013.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘We need to build on the sporting legacy of 2012 and make sure we promote it in 2013.
‘We have world class sailors from Gosport, including Alex Thompson and Dee Caffari, and we have world class facilities.
‘We need to put Gosport on the map and attract people here.’
Phase three of the Rowner estate redevelopment is due to complete in 2013, and Ms Dinenage also said the continued work on the new Enterprise Zone in the town – the former HMS Daedalus airfield – and a new engineering school, would also make 2013 memorable and economically successful for the town.
Just up the road in Whiteley, the new shopping centre is due to open this year.
And staying within Fareham borough, the new community centre in Portchester is due to open.
Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘Building something like that in the middle of a recession put tremendous pressure on the council but we begged and borrowed to make sure we could get it, because it’s important.’
Further east, there are many plans afoot to help investment in the Havant area.
Local MP David Willetts said he would be working with the council to open up the Dunsbury Hill site and enable businesses to move in and give the area an economic shot in the arm.
He added: ‘I would also put on my list of things happening in 2013 the added sea defences for Hayling Island and Havant.’
Also in Havant, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, a clinic is set to open this month, taking pressure off Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Havant mayor Gerald Shimbart said: ‘That’s something we’ve wanted to happen for quite some time. We’ve also had £1m for Wecock, so we’ll begin to use that to give young people things to do there.’
THE third phase of the Rowner estate regeneration is due to be completed.
The 175 new homes that make it up fill in the space between the south of the site around Howe Road and HMS Sultan.
Dan Castle, technical director for Taylor Wimpey, said: ‘By the end of 2013/14, with new local jobs to the area within the retail stores and its new mix of homes, Rowner’s regeneration will be clear for all to see.’
Tipner work continues
CONSTRUCTION work on the regeneration of Tipner is due to begin this year.
Work has already started on decontaminating the land, which was used as a ships’ graveyard.
Now, in a £130m project, 600 homes will be built, a new motorway junction will service them and new business space should attract 1,500 new jobs.
Shop again at Whiteley
WORK on a new town shopping centre is on course for a scheduled opening this spring.
The new units have sprung up out of the rubble of the failed Whiteley Village outlet shopping centre, which was demolished in 2011.
The £64m development will have more than 50 shops, including national and local retailers, restaurants and cafes in a bid to provide a more traditional town centre for Whiteley.
Cllr Mike Evans, chairman of Whiteley Parish Council, said: ‘It’s all running on time and it’s looking good.’
The development may also include a cinema.
Year of the masterplan
THIS year is to be the year of the masterplan.
This month, Portsmouth City Council will formally adopt the city centre masterplan as a supplementary planning document.
A similar plan, but this time for the seafront area of the city, will be adopted in March.
Both plans set out ideas as to how the areas could change in the next 15 years and invite people, businesses and other investors to come forward and put some of the plans into action.
The increased weight they will gain in planning meetings mean its likely projects will gain council support.
Time for another royal knees-up?
IN 2012 News readers proved they could organise a right royal knees-up with the best of them.
The street parties of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, such as this one in Kassassin Street, Eastney, are but a faint memory, but this year we should be rolling out the bunting and the trestle tables once again and getting the cheese and pineapple out.
For, all being well, on or about the middle of the year, the UK and Commonwealth should welcome the new heir to the throne as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first baby.
Clinic to be fully open
A £3.7m facility to take the strain off Queen Alexandra Hospital will become fully operational in 2013.
The facility, called Oak Park Community Clinic, is off Lavant Drive in Havant and comes after years of campaigning by residents.
The facility will mean thousands of patients across Havant and East Hampshire will no longer have to go to Queen Alexandra for consultations.
The building work has taken over a year and involved extending the Oak Park Children’s Centre.
Businesses will find plush home
BUSINESSES looking to move to the region will have a great base at the Lakeside North Harbour Business Park.
Work on a retail hub is due to be completed during the first half of the year, including a shop, hairdressers, florist, cafe and dry cleaners.
The £3m project is being carried out by Portsmouth construction firm Warings, which previously built the 1000 Lakeside building’s glass and steel atrium, and is part of a larger expansion.
Philippe Jouy, managing director of Warings said: ‘It is a real pleasure to be working on such an important site again, with a project that promises to really add to its attraction and the quality of the facilities there.’