NEW government funding could be the shot in the arm needed to revitalise Havant for generations to come.
That’s the hope of campaigners and councillors after it was announced Havant Borough Council will receive £3.4m from Homes England to build 121 flats on its civic campus car park.
A new multi-storey car park would be built nearby to cope with the loss of spaces in a plan which could see the council’s Regeneration Strategy take a major leap forward.
Councillors will discuss putting the project out to tender for developers at cabinet today.
Ann Buckley, coordinator of the Havant Borough Residents’ Alliance, said: ‘Overall it’s very pleasing to hear that site will be used for homes.
‘This is classified as a brownfield site and is preferable to the many greenfield sites around Havant that are under threat.
‘I certainly hope the money will lead to other projects taking off.’
Homes England will not specify how many of the flats must be affordable, but council policy states town centre sites must have a 20 per cent allocation to get planning permission.
Havant Friends of the Earth chairman, Ray Cobbett, said the cash influx is ‘good news on balance’ – with more considerations to be made as plans progress.
He added: ‘The position of the site, close to the station, is very handy from the point of view of sustainability.’
St Faiths councillors Jackie Branson and David Guest have hailed the funding ‘extremely good news’.
It comes from the government’s £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction Programme as the council seeks to build more than 9,000 new homes by 2036 as part of its local plan.
Deputy council leader and cabinet lead for finance and regeneration, Tim Pike, described the financial windfall as ‘a vote of confidence in Havant’.
‘This is one of the many grants we are working on with central government,’ he said.
‘The civic campus site has great potential. Its transformation will be a game-changer for our borough delivering new homes, construction jobs and economic growth.
‘I believe it is the start of a regeneration programme that will deliver future prosperity right across our borough.’
Stephen Kinsella, executive director for land at Homes England, said: ‘The plans aim to prioritise the use of off-site manufacturing to deliver high quality, precision engineered and highly energy efficient homes on this town centre site.’
Details on the mix and affordability of the homes are expected to be considered when the project goes out to developers.