Flat developers launch three-storey car park bid
DEVELOPERS behind a contentious bid to demolish part of a shopping centre and build 264 flats have now unveiled plans for a three-storey car park.
If approved the 263-space facility would accompany the high-profile development earmarked for Wellington Way in Waterlooville.
But an application was lodged with Havant Borough Council on Friday to hike that to 263 – in a move that would see the existing 124-space Wellington Way car park, off Maurepas Way and the A3, elevated to three storeys.
It would be open to residents, who could seek one of 25 parking permits up for grabs, as well as visitors to the town.
Owner of Wellington Way-based Waterlooville Fruiterers Ltd, Andrew Price, said the plan was more sensible than the initial proposal but fears it could have a blowback on trade.
‘I think the idea of more parking in Waterlooville has got to be a good thing,' the 47-year-old said.
‘But as a business owner, during any such development, I’d be concerned about how that would affect my business.
‘There would be a significant period of time when that car park would no doubt be out of use and because some fruit and veg can be quite heavy, customers won’t want to be walking further than they have to. Especially since a lot of them are quite elderly.’
Mr Price’s firm is in a unit in the southern end of the Waterlooville Way Shopping Centre, which will be demolished if Westbrook Properties’ nine-storey, 264-studio flat build for ‘young professionals’ goes ahead.
He is currently waiting to hear if the housebuilder will help him relocate, in light of its plans.
After learning about the car park at a public exhibition at Waterlooville Library yesterday, Bernard Johnson, 70 from Lovedean, said he hopes its pay-and-display prices will not deter trade.
‘Three storeys isn’t in your face too much and that’s probably acceptable for the size of the buildings around here, but we don’t want to see them start making a cash cow out of it,' he said.
‘We need better parking for sure, but we don't want people robbed for the privilege of shopping in their own community.’
If building went ahead the car park would continue to be run by Havant Borough Council as it is now, however it is not known how much parking would cost.
Currently it costs £1 to stay at the site for an hour, £2 for up to two hours and £3 for up to four hours.
The authority’s deputy leader, councillor Tim Pike, said he was in favour of the Wellington Way development and its car park ‘in general’.
‘I think it was very difficult to see how that initial proposal for 18 spaces could work – it was one of the biggest problems for residents,’ he said.
‘But I think [the developers] have come up with a deliverable solution that would work, both in terms of keeping the parking for shoppers and providing a sensible location for residents.’
Both planning applications, for the flats and the car park, are expected to be considered by the end of the year.
Have your say on the car park proposal at tinyurl.com/y4cmautu