THE long-awaited regeneration of Havant’s historic East Street could be kick-started by a residential development.
Property developer Peter Yeates has submitted plans to demolish a single-storey empty unit and replace it with a four-storey building of eleven apartments.
This development, at number 9, could be the first of several run-down buildings to be redeveloped.
The plans, which are still in the early stages and are being considered by Havant Borough Council, show a phased redevelopment that includes the former Streets building all the way up to the Havant Club.
Mr Yeates, who lives in Prinsted, near Emsworth, and was a survivor of the 2004 tsunami, told The News: ‘It’s going to be a good thing for Havant.
‘It’s going to put some life back into the place. There could be another 60 people living in this development and they would all spend money and work.’
Mr Yeates is hoping to help redevelop East Street with his friend Bill Rea, who owns the iconic Streets building.
Mr Yeates said talks were under way about how to develop Streets, but demolition was not currently on the cards.
Mr Yeates said the single-storey flat-roofed building he is proposing to demolish has ‘no architectural value’.
English Heritage said it had no comments on the proposal.
A letter has been received by the council from a business in East Street, concerned about the plans not including car parking spaces.
The plans do include, however, 15 bicycle spaces, as well as 11 short-stay cycle places for visitors.
The development creates an uncertain future for long-time Havant trader Lesley Petrie, who runs Jon’s Bits and Bobs, a wool shop.
The building could one day be demolished, according to the plans.
She said: ‘There needs to be a retail element.
‘It’s always been a street for retail. It would be a sad day if we go.’
A planning report about the development states: ‘The proposal is conceived to respond to the East Street frontage and has a scale which is in context with adjacent planning consents.’