A DEVELOPER claims a proposed new block retirement apartments for the elderly would free up housing in the area.
A planning application has been submitted to build 39 privately-owned apartments on Hayling Island.
Public consultation ended yesterday for the proposed development on the site of now-closed Pullingers on Elm Grove.
Churchill Retirement Building argues the development would increase the amount of housing on Hayling Island and would prove a boost to shops in the area.
However, previous plans to build on the site have met fierce opposition – in December Churchill’s bid to build a sheltered housing complex of 44 flats was turned down by the borough council.
Traders said then that the land should be left for shops, to keep the street alive.
However Andrew Burgess, managing director of planning issues at Churchill, has now said there is a demand for private retirement housing on the island. He said that the complex would ‘go some way to increasing access to this type of housing’.
He said: ‘By meeting this rising demand, we can allow older people to downsize and free up under-occupied houses in the area for families.
‘Our studies show the proposed development would generate little in the way of traffic since typical residents of Churchill apartments are 79 years old and most will not own a car.’
‘Those who are car owners are frequently seeking to relinquish their vehicles, hence the move to sheltered accommodation within easy reach of local shops and amenities and public transport links. This will provide a helpful boost to the local economy.’
Councillor Leah Turner said: ‘I will welcome new homes for people anywhere in the Havant borough. I’m keen to see affordable not only for the retirement age, but more housing for our young people.’
Andrew Norton, a campaign co-ordinator for the newly-formed Havant Borough Residents Alliance, acknowledged the demand for housing across all ages.
He said: ‘To a certain extent, the development helps the demand for housing if the older people downsize and free up family-sized housing, but there is still such a great demand in this area for housing. There’s got to be a balance.’