Bowling alley could go in new homes proposal

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DEVELOPERS want to knock down a DIY store and bowling alley to build 86 new homes.

Linden Homes is holding a consultation next week on plans for the site, off Portsdown Hill Road, Bedhampton, where Homebase and AMF Bowling are situated.

Havant Borough Council considers it a preferred site for housing and leisure services in its homes allocations plan but only for 33 homes.

Bedhampton councillor Jenny Wride believes it would be unsuitable for housing.

She said: ‘My initial concern is access to the site. Portsdown Hill Road is very, very narrow. There aren’t pavements on both sides. In fact, one of the pavements is blocked off because of a rock fall.

‘The development is not ideal. There are traffic issues that need to be resolved.

‘The Belmont roundabout at the bottom is already at maximum capacity. On top of that, there will be traffic from the 92 new homes that have been approved off Scratchface Lane.’

Fellow ward councillor Ken Smith said, in principle, he is in support of housing on the site but he is also concerned about the access and the impact on traffic in the area.

Scott Rawlings, from landlords Ankers & Rawlings, said: ‘With trade having now been attracted to other centres, we have carefully considered the site’s future viability as a retail park.

‘In light of this, we have thought it appropriate to work alongside leading local housebuilder Linden Homes to understand the potential that exists for the site’s development with new homes, especially given the requirements across the borough.’

Regarding the number of homes planned, a spokesman for the developer said it had held detailed discussions with the council’s planning officers.

He added: ‘This site is being moved forward at time when the borough is in real need of new homes and has issues relating to housing land supply. Furthermore, as a brownfield site, attention should be placed on seeking to ensure it is used as efficiently as possible in future, should it be developed.’

The consultation is tomorrow at Havant Rugby Football Club from 3.30pm and 8.00pm.