Huge new leisure park on cards for Waterlooville

BIG IDEA The site at Waterlooville, circled in red, where the development would be
BIG IDEA The site at Waterlooville, circled in red, where the development would be
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Picture: Joe Pepler

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MULTI-million-pound plans have been submitted to build a new cinema, bowling alley, restaurant complex, supermarket and hotel in the heart of Waterlooville.

Developers want to transform the former Marconi site, off Elettra Avenue.

The 14-acre land was bought by BAE Systems in 2000, but is now largely vacant.

Developers say they want to build a new ‘contemporary landmark for Waterlooville’.

Although the plans are still in early stages, they include an eight-screen cinema, a 20-lane tenpin bowling complex, a fitness centre, and a 60-bedroom hotel.

And the development would feature three restaurants, a new pub, and a drive-through fast-food restaurant.

It would be served by 707 parking spaces with the main access from Hambledon Road.

A planning report states that the likely operator of the supermarket will be Aldi.

Discussions are under way with Cineworld, McDonald’s, Frankie & Benny’s and Premier Inn.

Community leaders welcomed having more leisure facilities in Waterlooville – particularly as 3,000 new homes are being built to the west.

Councillor Olwyn Kennedy, who represents Stakes estate, said: ‘A cinema will hopefully be an asset for that side of Havant borough.

‘Particularly with the Major Development Area, there’s going to be a mini population explosion. There’s not enough facilities for the existing population, let alone all the people that are going to be moving into the new homes.’

But she added: ‘We have a successful bowling alley in Bedhampton. Providing it does not detract from the existing one, I don’t have a problem with it.’

Plans were approved last year for the site to be transformed into 18 business units, a car showroom, a hotel and restaurant.

However, following a marketing campaign, it has been established there is not the demand for business units due to competition from Lakeside and Langstone Technology Park.

The development, if approved, would create hundreds of new jobs.

In his planning report, Laurence Holmes, senior planner at Harris Lamb Property Consultancy, said: ‘The proposals offer a viable development solution for this site following extensive marketing and are intended to create an enhanced leisure-led destination for Waterlooville.’