Proposal for new gym, restaurant, and nursery in Whiteley business park updated
The developer has updated its plans to expand the Solent Business Park next to Whiteley Way.
Alchemy Asset Management’s proposals include a hotel, gym, nursery, restaurant/bar, multi-storey car park and commercial space for local businesses.
These facilities will be open to the existing occupiers of Solent Business Park and the wider community.
Retail and leisure spaces were proposed because ‘there is little current or anticipated demand for office buildings,’ according to the company’s spokesman.
He said: ‘Since submitting the application last year we continue to progress the application through the planning process.
‘We are still meeting with consultees and local groups and last night we presented to Whiteley Town Council to discuss the scheme and the benefits that it will bring to the local community.
‘Since submitting the scheme some changes have been made, particularly to strengthen the design quality of the proposed hotel and restaurant/bar.’
In order to ‘improve the appearance from Whiteley Way,’ the hotel will now feature glazed windows, a canopy, mixed brickwork and cladding, according to the spokesman.
It has also been reduced from featuring 97 to 94 beds.
But there are concerns that the multi-storey car park will be ‘a drop in the ocean’ in terms of solving the ‘massive congestion issue’ that occurs in roads around the business park, according to Winchester City Councillor Jonathan Fern,
The Liberal Democrat, who represents the Whiteley and Shedfield ward, said: ‘The big local sentiment is that there is too much traffic.
‘My personal view is that infrastructure improvements can lag behind developments.
The Parkway South Roundabout can be 300 per cent over capacity during peak times, according to the councillor.
Despite concerns about congestion, the business park has been ‘a benefit’ for the community.
Cllr Fern added: ‘On the whole, it is good for the local area.’
In 1994, planning permission was granted for a major office campus at the Solent Business Park, but so far only five buildings have been constructed.
These office spaces now accommodate 11 companies, employing a total of more than 1,450 staff.
The developer is waiting for Winchester City Council to set a date when the proposals will appear before its planning committee.