While we may have seemed rather invisible since the Spring, under the radar we’ve not been idle. To those members who’ve been expecting rather more regular emails from the Society, the HCS chairman offers an apology. The simple fact is that the committee members are all volunteers who also have other matters and organisations competing for their time. And this summer seems to have been busier than most!
However, if you have been keeping and eye on the ‘Recent Posts’ section of the Home page, you’ll have noticed that we’ve not been asleep at the wheel. For example, in addition to our normal activities of monitoring planning and development and managing the Gazebo Garden, we invited our ‘inner circle’ of HCS volunteers to an exclusive ‘Bat Walk’ from the Gazebo Garden one evening in August. While taking a guded walk with our hand held bat detectors, listening to Soprano Pipistrelles, we learned how Havant is one of the richest areas in the country for diversity of bat species. Who’d have thought it?!
News in brief
Havant’s Green Spaces Initiative
We are working on joint initiatives with the Grove Conservation Volunteers and the Havant Tree Wardens to focus more love and attention on the various green spaces around Havant town. At the smaller end of the scale, these include maintenance plans for various town centre flower beds. On a grander scale, work is progressing on the development of a Tree Trail for Havant Park. Once this is established, we hope to produce an updated Town Heritage Trail to include other significant trees around the town. Come along to the next public meeting to hear more!
The Regeneration Programme
You may remember, earlier in the year, some rather mysterious, gramatically challenged banners appeared on the lamp posts in Park Road South.
But what did it all mean? We did ask the question when the referenced website appeared to be awaiting ‘finishing touches’. The answer came back, “It’ll be there in a few weeks”. Now that was four or five months ago and we’re still in the dark. Being realists, we suspect that lack of funds and changing priorities are simply impacting progress. We did spend some time with the Regeneration Team back in June to help out with a bid for extra government funding. Sadly, while other local area bids were successful, Havant’s was not on this occasion.
We’ll make sure that we have an update for you at the next public meeting and with a fair wind, we’ll also be able to show you the Havant Regeneration promotional video that was withdrawn from public view at the last minute back in the summer.
The continuing saga of the derelict town centre sites
- East Street. While much of East Street remains as decaying as ever, visitors to the Pallant will be aware that the rear of the Streets site is currently being demolished and cleared.
- 44-54 West Street – the infamous billboards – remain the town centre’s most unloved eyesore, though we have it on good authority that “the site has changed hands and a new owner is keen to move the re-development of the site forward. [We are] advised that the new owner will be entering into pre-application discussions with the planning department in the near future”. We hope to provide an update at the next meeting.
- North Street arcade: The sadly defunct Grastar Restaurant site has now been cleared out and with Domino’s now relocated we wait with interest to see whether anything will get started on the development plan for the site.
- One piece of good news is that the The Wessex Site clearance and construction is moving apace, the groundworks almost complete and the layout becoming visible from the Fairfield railway footbridge.
- There’s other good news ‘north of the tracks’ too with a contract awarded for the construction of Colt’s Brook, 95 housing units on the site of the former Colt factory.
- Already providing a hot topic of discussion are the breaking plans for the redevelopment of the Portsmouth Water site between West Street, Brockhampton Lane and Solent Road. While we welcome the fact that Portsmouth Water intend to keep their headquarters in Havant, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the proposals for the site as they develop.
To contact Havant Civic Society, please use the contact form or click this link to email us. If you’re a social media user, you can also contact us via Facebook and Twitter, see the links in the sidebar on this page.
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