End of the line for the last town Gasholder

Do you remember the days when you could watch the local gasholders sink down as the nation cooked their Sunday lunchtime roast dinners? Well those memories have long become history.

In another small step in what we would like to think would be the intelligent regeneration of the New Lane employment area, a planning application has been submitted on behalf of SGN (formerly Scotia Gas Networks) “to determine whether prior approval is required for the method of demolition of one gasholder and associated structures”.

The old town gasholder sits just to the north of the Spring Business Park, currently under construction on the site of the former Buttericks factory which is still visible on this current Google Earth image.

It’s a small, but useful piece of real estate and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kingsbridge Estates were looking to add this to their New Lane portfolio. If they are, then we really hope that they have an eye to the future and would be looking to capitalise on the potential benefits to Havant from the Solent Freeport initiative.

Other New Lane business owners will be taking a keen interest in the opportunities presented by a Solent freeport, including the now Danish owned Eaton Hydraulics and the Yantai Moon Group, the Chinese conglomerate who now hold a controlling shareholding in Dunham Bush. With much of the DeLonghi Group‘s production coming from China and destined for export to Europe and beyond, their Italian owners will also be paying close attention to the opportunities presented by the freeport initiative for the DeLonghi, Kenwood and Braun brands.

Meanwhile, the New Lane heavyweights, Kattenhorn and Marsh Plant, will no doubt be looking at the potential ‘freeport bonus’ increase in the value of their land assets. Both own sites in the ‘land-locked’ New Lane estate, with business uses well past their sell-by-dates .

We’re living in interesting times and it would be extremely short sighted to waste a large potential freeport opportunity on a purely UK internal warehousing and distribution business like the one proposed for 32 New Lane.