When Are We Going To Get Our Local Shops Back ?

On Saturday 16th September, 2011 our local Tesco Express was burnt out. Along with the Tesco store we also lost our pharmacy and a Chinese take-away.

The News reported Thursday 29 March, 2012 that ….

Officials at Brookton 2000 Ltd, which owns the site, said they were working up a planning application for the rebuild of Tesco and the pharmacy.

Daniel Kaye, director of Brookton 2000 Ltd, based in Chandler’s Ford, said: ‘We have a team of professionals appointed and we are working on submitting an application. Then it is in the hands of the local authority.

‘Once we get planning permission, we can look to appoint contractors.

‘Unfortunately these things take longer than members of the general public think.’

Mr Kaye said the shops would be back open in 18 months’ time at the very latest. But he said he hoped the rebuild would be sooner.

On April 8th of this year I posted about how long it was taking for any work to begin to replace the afore-mentioned business premises.

Fort Lavender
Fort Lavender

Fifteen months have gone by since the fire and nothing seems to have happened on the site.

15 months on - Our Local Shops - Lavender Road, Waterlooville
15 months on – Our Local Shops – Lavender Road, Waterlooville

The photo above shows that the roof has gone from the pharmacy and supermarket areas. The blue tarp covers some part of the chinese take-away roof where the fire brigade broke through, presumably to ensure that the fire wasn’t still burning out of sight.

Planning application has indeed been made to the council and has been approved. See APP/12/00650

The approval of the application, on 21st August, comes with some conditions.

1) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of 3 years from the date on which this planning permission was granted.Reason: To comply with Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

So we could be waiting some time before the rebuild gets started. It would have been better from a residents perspective if the council had enforced a more stringent timetable.

3) No development hereby permitted shall be commenced until a detailed soft landscaping scheme for all open parts of the site not proposed to be hard-surfaced has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Such scheme shall specify the proposed finished ground levels in relation to the existing levels, the distribution and species of ground cover to be planted, the positions, species and planting sizes of the trees and shrubs to be planted and/or retained, and timing provisions for completion of the implementation of all such landscaping works.
The implementation of all such approved landscaping shall be completed in full accordance with such approved timing provisions. Any tree or shrub planted or retained as part of such approved landscaping scheme which dies or is otherwise removed within the first 5 years shall be replaced with another of the same species and size in the same position during the first available planting season.
Reason: To ensure the appearance of the development is satisfactory and having due regard to policies CS11, CS16 and DM8 of the Havant Borough Core Strategy 2011 which form part of the Local Development Framework and National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012.

It’s good to see that work cannot commence until the really important issues have been thrashed out. I would have thought it was more important to get a major part of the local infrastructure reinstated i.e. rebuild and reopen the stores, rather than argue over the type of shrubs to be planted.

4) The buildings shall not be occupied until space for the loading, unloading and parking of vehicles has been provided within the site, surfaced and marked out in accordance with the approved details. Such areas shall thereafter be permanently retained and used solely for those purposes.
Reason: In the interests of highway safety and having due regard to policy DM13 of the Havant Borough Core Strategy 2011 which forms part of the Local Development Framework and National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012.

This condition has me confused. The original goods entrance and specifically the area immediately in front of it appears, according to the proposed ground floor plan, to be allocated as disabled parking. If this is for the “sole” use of the disabled, where will goods vehicles load and unload ?

According to the plans there will be a new construction and entrance at the northern end of the building, immediately adjacent to Lavender Road. If that is intended to be used as the main goods entrance into the building, implying that the goods vehicles are to be parked in Lavender Road, we will have a road safety disaster on our hands. The parking of articulated lorries in this area of the road has already caused several near misses to my knowledge.

I would have preferred to have seen some provision for goods vehicle access or at the very minimum a restriction placed on the supermarket operator to only use small to medium-sized vans for the delivery of stock. It isn’t only Tesco vehicles in the past that have caused problems as I have seen articulated lorries delivering milk and bread to this site.

So, when are we going to get our local shops back ?

The pharmacy has been trying to maintain its presence by operating out of a converted industrial container. Word from the container has it that they will be returning to a proper shop around Easter 2013.

Mr Daniel Kay, that’s 20 months. not “18 months at the latest” …..  nor is it “sooner”

Some of the folks who used to work at the burnt out Tesco Express have been redeployed to Tesco’s Grassmere Way Store. Or maybe that’s Tempest Road. Not sure since Tesco can’t seem to make up their own mind according to their own web site. As we locals know Tempest Road is actually Tempest Avenue. But I digress.

Having spoken to some of the Lavender Road expats it seems that they have not heard anything about Tesco resuming operations.

Is this because Tescos will not be coming back ? If not, then who will be operating from the rebuilt store and when ?

By the way, going back to the Tesco website, they don’t seem to have noticed that their store is no longer open. They still show the Lavender Road store as being open seven days a week.

When Are We Going To Get Our Local Shops Back ?

“In a word, we’re stuffed”

So says Councillor Mike Fairhurst following last nights decision to allow 92 new homes at Scratchface Lane, Bedhampton.

Many councillors obviously feel that local councils will be held to ransom by the spending power of big businesses who due to their wealth can afford a war of attrition. They know that local councils are on tight budgets and cannot afford the costs associated with going to appeal and losing. Once central government inspectors have voted against local council decisions the flood gates are opened.

‘I’m exceedingly angry. I would reject this but I can’t. I’m up for a fight as much as the next man. I don’t like being dictated to by some bloke in Bristol (the planning inspector).

‘But I have a head as well as a heart and I ask myself what will happen if I reject this? The application will go to appeal, that’s a certainty. It’s not like we will pay the fine and not get the houses. We will get the houses anyway. In a word, we’re stuffed.’

This development will go ahead and the local residents will be the ones who pay the price.

The roads in this area are quite narrow and the egress to main exit routes already become quite congested. This development is too large for the area and any concerns about motorway noise have already been disregarded.

Jim Graham a resident of Brooklands Road, the main site access, says

This has been going on for five years now. All I can hope is that the borough does not live to regret this decision.

Mr Graham, Havant Borough Council won’t regret this decision. They will take their tariff from the developers and will happily collect the council tax from the new residents. It will be the current residents in the area that will regret this decision, who will have to put up with the additional traffic. It will be the new residents who will have to put up with the noise and the dust from the motorway.

I am afraid the council will not regret this decision, they will just move on to their next planning disaster of which they have many on the boil.

The application can be viewed at Havant Borough Councils planning pages HERE

Controversial Bedhampton homes plan approved – Environment – Portsmouth News.

Lets Scratch The Scratchface Lane Development

I wish the Bedhampton campaigners the best of luck this evening.

A meeting should be underway right now, to discuss the building of 92 homes on this controversial development. This land is adjacent to the A3M.

This proposed development makes no sense and has already been refused before, back in 2011, because of fears about the noise levels from the motorway.

The only folks that will benefit from this development are the developers themselves, Crayfern Homes.

All councillors will vote on Bedhampton estate plans – Environment – Portsmouth News.

Purbrook Place – 03/10/2012

Building work is forging ahead on Purbrook Place, one of the latest housing developments in the Waterlooville area.

Purbrook Place – 03/10/2012

Permission was granted for the construction of 76 homes, consisting of a mix of 2, 3, 4 bed houses and 2 bed flats with associated parking. The landscaping is scheduled to include open spaces and play areas. There will also be a pumping station ???

Purbrook Place – 03/10/2012

The, main, road access will be from Stakes Road but there will also be pedestrian access to Stakes Hill Road. and the nearby schools.

It is a shame that, at this time, Havant Borough Council and the Highways Agency haven’t taken the opportunity to revise the nearby roundabout which will bear the brunt of the additional vehicles that this development will bring.

The Purbrook Place development on its own will not increase the burden dramatically. However when you take into account the additional traffic that will come this way from  other developments in the Waterlooville area then it is imperative that some improvements are made. I have posted previously regarding the difficulty that can be experienced trying to negotiating this roundabout. These difficulties are primarily caused by virtue of the fact that drivers do not “have” to stop.

Curzon Rooms Fire – It Was Only A Matter Of Time

Once again, and the second time in less than a month, The Curzon Rooms in Waterlooville have been the target of arsonists.

The Curzon Rooms building has been an eyesore for many years, slowly decomposing, while the owners and Havant Borough Council have played pat-a-cake around the planning regs. The generally poor condition of the building has not been a welcoming site for potential businesses who may have been tempted to come to Waterlooville.

Havant Borough Council have not made life easy for the owners of the Curzon Rooms otherwise the site would have been redeveloped many years ago. In the meantime Waterlooville Town Centre has slowly gone down hill while the council focus on creating a “retail park” style shopping centre on the west side of the town.

So what was already an eyesore has now become even more of one. It is time for HBC to get the building forcibly demolished.

Curzon Rooms fire, Waterlooville. Picture Malcolm Wells
Curzon Rooms fire, Waterlooville. Picture Malcolm Wells

Police probing ‘suspicious’ derelict Waterlooville building blaze hunt youths – Local – Portsmouth News.

New Development Proposed For Waterlooville BAE Site

Proposals have been put forward to Havant Borough Council for the development of the BAE site in Waterlooville. This site comprises the land bounded by Elettra Avenue, Silverthorne Way and Hambledon Road.

These proposals include

  • 60+ Bedroom Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Drive Thru Restaurant
  • Car Show Room
  • Industrial Units

If these proposals go ahead they could bring many benefits to the town, not the least of which would be the employment opportunities.

However, this would also be tempered by the additional industrial traffic that would be required to service the new industrial units at the heart of this proposal.

I have a growing concern that many of the new developments, being proposed for the Waterlooville area, include industrial units but there is no sign of the businesses that are going to take up these new properties. In the meantime there are many existing industrial units  that remain empty.

Waterlooville seems set to be swamped with such “opportunities”. One only has to look to the plans for the Dunsbury Hill Farm site.

Havant Borough Council and the developers are always quick to point to the number of jobs that these developments will create. However, they aren’t so quick to highlight that these are “potential” jobs. At no time do you see them parading a list of employers who have committed to move into these new premises.

Of course, in such economic times as ours it is always good to be prepared for the upturn.

And how about the existing Aston Road industrial estate. That could do with a bit of a facelift. It really does look a bit tired now.