Step forward in potential boost for jobs in Havant

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A MULTI-MILLION pound retail development is one step closer after approval was given to a new trade park.

Havant Borough Council gave permission for Hargreaves, which runs Solent Retail Park, to demolish an empty industrial building on the other side of Solent Road and build new modern units.

In a separate planning application, which has not been decided yet, Hargreaves wants to expand the retail park by demolishing the buildings in adjacent land which includes Pizza Hut and Motomex.

Now the site, known as ICTS, has been approved developers could be free to ask businesses such as Solent Cleaners, Motomex garage, EMP Tooling Services and Havant Motor Factors if they want to relocate there.

Councillor Cyril Hilton, speaking at a council planning meeting about the ICTS site, said: ‘The developers have gone a long way to making sure this building is acceptable.

‘It will bring the area up to a decent state – that’s what’s needed.

‘The extra employment it provides might not be hundreds or thousands of jobs but it will be a benefit.’

Hargreaves wants to extend the retail park with a two-storey store of more than 80,000sq ft with space for 250 cars to park.

No particular shops are identified, but the proposals suggest the main use would be the sale of home products, DIY, gardening and clothing.

A high end food shop has also been suggested.

Michelle Sawyer, director of Motomex, said if she was offered the new site she would consider moving her company there.

In a statement a spokesman for the developer said: ‘Hargreaves are pleased with the planning committee’s decision to approve their application for the this site.

‘They see it being the first step towards their ambition to revitalise Solent Road, west of their existing highly successful and popular Solent Retail Park, by replacing existing obsolete and in some instance unoccupied premises west of the Solent Retail Park and the Tesco store with modern new premises which should provide a variety of new employment opportunities.’

A decision on the extension of the retail park should be made by the end of November.