ALMOST 200 new homes could be built on an empty patch of land in Whiteley after plans to use the site for employment use fell through.
Goodman, the property developer behind Solent Business Park, had secured planning permission in 1993 for employment use with offices, a warehouse and distribution centres on land to the south of Rookery Avenue in Whiteley.
But now, it is considering building 180 new homes on the site instead after failing to find a developer.
Yesterday, a public consultation was held in Whiteley.
Tony Charles, from Portchester Planning Consultancy, said: ‘It has been allocated for employment and that hasn’t happened.
‘The problem is that most of the business park is the other side of Whiteley Way.
‘This is in the residential complex of the Whiteley development.
‘So we think the time is right to look at an alternative land use. We think residential and open space would be a good idea.
‘We aren’t saying that’s all we are going to accept. We are saying “that’s our idea – what do you think?”’
Ian Fletcher, 72, from Lipizzaner Fields, said: ‘My main concern is that we don’t have the road infrastructure to support houses, but we have got the road infrastructure to support businesses.
‘Everybody would be trying to get out at the same time.
‘At the moment in rush hour you can back up to Yew Tree Drive to the school.
‘With the housing I haven’t got a problem, as long as you get the infrastructure in place.’
David Pinfield, 72, from Lipizzaner Fields, said: ‘I think it ought to be used for additional amenities by an extension to the school. Whiteley School is oversubscribed.
‘They don’t have a playing field but just astroturf and they don’t have a swimming pool.
‘It just seems to me that this piece of land has been on the market for 17 years and nobody wants it.
‘It should be used for the community.’
The public consultation continues today at Whiteley Community Centre from 2.30pm.