Havant MP wants to demolish his 17th century house

PLANS MP David Willetts' house in West Street, Havant
PLANS MP David Willetts' house in West Street, Havant

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THE saga of a Havant MP David Willets’ dilapidated house looks set to come to an end soon as he seeks permission to have it demolished.

Scaffolding has been up outside his West Street home for more than three years.

He bought the 17th century property next to his constituency home in 2008 with plans to convert it back to the original two homes it once was.

Permission was granted by Havant Borough Council but as work was about to start surveyors found it was structurally unsafe and would need to be pulled down.

Since then the scaffolding has remained in place, protruding into the road, and the run-down state of the property has drawn complaints from residents.

But the MP has now submitted plans to the council to knock down the three-bedroom property and replace it with two, two-bedroom homes.

Tim Dawes, of Havant Civic Society, said: ‘My understanding is he has been told it’s got to come down and be rebuilt.

‘We would urge him to keep it as close to the original building as possible as it is in a conservation area.

‘There has been growing concern about the length of time the scaffolding has been up. I’m sure David is embarrassed about it.

‘Now really is time that he, or somebody acting on his behalf, sorted it out.

‘It’s more than three years now.

‘The society did have a meeting with him recently and he brought the house up himself.

‘Our position is that we recognise something drastic has to be done to the building but it should not change the look and feel of the street which is in a conservation area.’

Mr Willetts is on holiday in America but, in a statement through his constituency office, he said: ‘I am sorry about these delays.

‘However, a lot of work is now under way. We have a structural engineer, an architect and a surveyor all working as a team on this.

‘We hope to start the demolition and rebuild in August, subject to the many planning consents outstanding.’