A CREATIVE quarter which draws on Havant’s thriving artistic and cultural scene could be the key to regeneration, The Green Party has said.
The party has made a formal submission to Havant Borough Council with details of alternative proposals for the revamp of the town’s East Street.
Members propose to introduce a cultural quarter to link West Street with The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, with ideas including an art gallery and a museum about Havant’s heritage.
The party recognises that some new housing may be part of the development, but they strongly oppose the possible demolition of St Faith’s Church Hall.
They say the Bear Hotel car park could be the basis of a new square for food and craft markets and performances, with small specialist shops in the area.
The group also opposed the idea of moving the war memorial, demolishing the White Hart pub and removing parts of the graveyard around St Faith’s Church.
Tim Dawes, convenor of Havant Green Party, accused the council of ‘lacking imagination’ in its proposals.
He said creative quarters had successfully worked in places like Worthing and Margate.
Havant Green Party’s secretary, Lewis Martin, added: ‘This isn’t just about preserving some fine old buildings; it’s also about creating local jobs for the young people who are growing up here.’
Council leader Tony Briggs said: ‘The council welcomes the East Street consultation document with reference to the East Street proposals.
‘This is exactly why we have the consultation process in place.
‘We take public consultation very seriously.
‘The period for consultation is now closed and once we have evaluated the public response, through the various channels made available to residents to put forward their representations, we can then gauge public opinion.
‘Currently the East Street plans are merely ideas and no formal planning application has been submitted.
‘Should a major proposal for East Street by a developer be submitted, there will be further public meetings and consultation.’