PLANS to build a large sheltered accommodation complex in a busy shopping district were refused.
There was fierce debate at Havant Borough Council as councillors debated plans to redevelop the former Pullingers site off Elm Grove, Hayling Island.
Churchill Retirement Living applied to build a three-storey development of 44 sheltered apartments, plus a shop and a flat above it off the main road.
But there was major concern the site only had 14 parking spaces – with no apparent room for visitors or for deliveries.
Anthony Walker, who runs Walker Bentley electronics store in Elm Grove, pleaded with the planning committee to refuse the plans.
He said: ‘We are so pushed for parking. It’s a nightmare. We want amenities.
‘We want more shops for the growing population you are allowing to come on to Hayling Island.’
And he added: ‘You are going to create a ghost town.’
John Perry, Ukip councillor for Hayling East, told the committee: ‘The use of electric gates is likely to cause congestion.’
Cllr Perry said a ‘less dense development’ to support local retailers was needed.
He cited the ‘sheer mass and overbearing nature’ of the building.
Simon McFarlane, who represented the developer, said: ‘It’s very well-located in relation to the shops, being within easy walking distance.’
The apartments would be available to anyone over 60, but Mr McFarlane said the average age to move in was 79.
Cllr David Keast, who sits on the planning committee, said: ‘There’s an assumption that everyone packs up driving at 60 which is nonsense.’
He said the building was ‘out of keeping’ with the area.
Cllr Diana Patrick said it was ‘significant overdevelopment on a very narrow site’.
Cllr Clare Satchwell added: ‘This is trying to cram too much in a small space.’
After more than two hours of debate in the council chamber, councillors voted by four to two to refuse the plans.