Vision of Havant takes a step forward as borough aims for staycation market

HAVANT has taken the next step forward to regenerating its town centre and Hayling Island seafront.

By Toby Paine
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 4:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 4:37 pm

At Havant Borough Council’s recent cabinet meeting, members discussed regeneration schemes that outline a vision for the borough over the next 15 years.

The Hayling ambition document outlines a placemaking initiative - turning the island, specifically the south coast, into an attractive location in the growing staycation market.

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A still from a video of Havant Borough Council's regeneration video

Councillor Clare Satchwell, cabinet lead for planning, Hayling seafront strategy and coastal management said: ‘This document is the beginning of our future, it is something we can use as a point of reference that allows things to happen.

‘It’s giving people a sense of the fact that we are investing in and looking after our seafront. For me, this is the beginning - we can show that we are taking our seafront seriously and that we have plans.’

Improving accommodation options, dining and bar experiences and providing a variety of activities and attractions are all part of the future vision for the island.

Councillor Alex Rennie, leader of the council added: ‘It is a really great step in the right direction in terms of where we’re going next on Hayling Island to deliver what we hope is going to be an exciting brand Hayling.

‘Having a place to live, to work and also visit as we know all three of those things are vital to the Hayling economy. What we’re seeing here is that we’re really striving to improve the whole borough and that includes Hayling.’

Currently, the plans for Havant town centre include two apartment complexes that incorporate ‘public realm’ treatments by limiting vehicle access and encouraging active travel.

The Plaza East and Bulbeck Road projects are key parts of the town centre's transformation, creating high quality and attractive environments for residents, businesses and investors.

Councillor Tim Pike, cabinet lead for regeneration and estates said: ‘The way that the pandemic has changed the way we use town centres - there’s probably going to be less retail in the future.

‘The reasons why people go into town centres will hopefully be more about the experience than just retail so looking to encourage that and encouraging businesses who want to offer that.

‘Then more generally looking at how we’re going to bring forward more development on brownfield sites and within the town centre area.

‘Regeneration is a long term ambition - this is looking at regeneration over the next 15 years because the people who want to work with us need stability and certainty.

‘Lots of people are very excited to be working with us, we’ve got lots of interest from the private sector and they want to know how the council is going to get involved and what we can do to give that stability and certainty in the Havant area.’