It’s hoped that the new facility, built on a former landfill site, will bring much-needed employment to the borough.
However, Patricia Brooks, from the Havant Climate Alliance and Friends of the Earth said there are strong reasons not to disturb the ‘toxic landfill at Brockhampton west’.
‘Disturbance will involve a high risk of toxic materials being released into the local environment, air and water,’ she said.
‘Maintaining this site as public open space or as a reserve for Brent geese and waders would be the least damaging option.’
Anne Buckley, chairman of the Havant Residents Alliance spoke out against the loss of green space.
‘I very much appreciate the need for employment space,’ she said,
‘But the cumulative impact of the loss of green space of which this borough is already in deficit will not result in ecological gain.’
Matthew Thomas, speaking on behalf of the applicant, Cloud Developments UK, said that a number of studies have been undertaken to assess the risks of development.
‘Including full ecology surveys, extensive work on the potential risks of working with the landfill material,’ he said.
Councillor Gary Hughes told the committee during the debate stage that it should grant planning permission.
‘The thing that is before us this evening is site access, everything else is reserved and therefore the fact that the highways authority are content with the proposals for that site access I feel that we can’t refuse the application,’ he said.
‘Given the size of the construction itself means it has to come back to the planning committee in the future for deliberation, consideration and determination.’
A further planning application will be submitted to council to address the reserved matters namely the building’s layout, appearance and scale.