Hayling Seaside Railway depot plans still causing concern on island

Members of the Save our Seafront campaign group
Members of the Save our Seafront campaign group
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NEW plans have been submitted for a railway depot – but campaigners say they are still not happy.

Bob Haddock, the owner of Hayling Seaside Railway, came under fire for the proposal to build a large depot at Eastoke Corner, which residents and businesses owners say is out of place in an area which is well known for its stunning views across the Solent.

Mr Haddock has had a second look at the plans and reduced the overall size by a third.

But Clare Satchwell, from the Save Our Seafront campaign, is not convinced.

She said: ‘We remain strongly opposed to any building on the seafront.

‘But if people are going to be allowed it should be a building that people can be proud of.

‘The closest situation to this is when the lifeboat station was rebuilt, a building that is functional.

‘It is beautifully clad in wood. When you walk up to it, it looks aspirational. This isn’t.

‘This is not a heritage building, it’s like a factory unit. It’s below par and feels ill-considered.’

Ms Satchwell said she is annoyed that the group has been painted as if they are against the railway – which they are not.

She said they are against development of the seafront.

‘If you drive round the front from Rails Lane you get a real sense of space,’ said Ms Satchwell.

‘We all lead busy lives and it’s so nice to be able to sit somewhere and just look out across the sea.

‘This will change the character of the area completely.

‘If it was a building that made you go “wow” it might be different.’

Havant Borough Council owns the land and has granted Mr Haddock a lease for it, subject to planning permission.

That will be decided by its own planning committee either in late September or early October.

Mr Haddock said he has listened to the community and has made changes.

It will now be painted cream, rather than grey, and has softer detailing.

It will be done in the style of Southern Railway depot.

‘People don’t like change,’ said Mr Haddock. ‘That’s the biggest problem.

‘I’m sure I would be exactly the same in their shoes but this is a way for Eastoke to go forward.’

The public has until August 18 to make representations for or against the application.