AMBITIOUS plans to regenerate Havant town centre have been defended by the council’s deputy leader.
Councillor David Guest said his aim was to create a better Havant for generations to come.
It comes after speculative plans were launched to revamp the town centre, including demolishing the White Hart pub and creating a new town square in West Street next to St Faith’s Church.
Cllr Guest stressed that no developer was involved and the plans were in their early stages.
He questioned the viability of the White Hart pub, which is empty after being sold to a Southampton-based developer for £155,000.
He said: ‘Pubs are closing all over the country on a daily basis. It’s devastating.
‘It’s changing the fabric of our society.
‘Thinking about whether it can continue to operate as it is – that’s why it shut, they couldn’t find a landlord for it.’
Cllr Guest added: ‘We are trying to generate debate and get the subject moving forward. We do care about our town centres and we do want to see them regenerated.
‘If you want change, you have to find ways of producing that change.
‘That’s what the public consultation will be all about.
‘You can’t just leave it all the same. We are building for the future.’