A HUGE depot storing 8,000 tons of salt that will be used to grit icy roads is to be built in Havant.
Hampshire County Council is planning to build two salt barns off Harts Farm Way.
After successive cold winters and the prospect of more to come, council leaders say they want to improve the county’s readiness to cope with snow.
At the moment roads in Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Waterlooville must be gritted from salt transported from depots in Petersfield or Bishop’s Waltham.
But having a salt depot on the coast will mean gritters can be deployed quicker and more efficiently.
County Cllr Ann Buckley, who represents Bedhampton and Leigh Park, welcomed the development.
She said: ‘It’s an excellent idea because the winter before last the A3 became blocked and it was impossible to get salt down.
‘It will be a good thing to have locally. We are getting different types of weather and having the salt barn here on the coast will be really helpful.’
The two salt barns, set to be up and running next year, are capable of storing 4,000 tons each.
Subject to final planning approval, the barns will be built on the current Household Waste Recycling Centre site. Plans are already in place to build a new recycling centre nearby.
Councillor Mel Kendal, in charge of transport in Hampshire, said: ‘We want to build on the improved measures that we have put in place to enable us to respond more efficiently when freezing temperatures are expected and snow falls. We have looked for a long time to find a suitable base in the south east of the county from where salting lorries can be loaded and deployed in the locality more quickly.
‘The construction of a new household waste facility for Havant means that the site for the existing HWRC will become vacant and is the ideal location for us to set up a satellite operational depot where we intend to have one operational salt barn and a second, strategic salt barn in reserve. The new salt barns will add to the four owned by Hampshire County Council, in strategic locations across the county, together with the two Highways Agency facilities that we have agreement to use.’