We’re pleased to see that thanks to the sterling efforts of our treasurer, The Gazebo Garden is one of this month’s featured ‘Green Token’ charities. Please remember the efforts of the Gazebo Garden volunteers and place your token in the Gazebo slot!
And while you’re at it, consider shopping little and often rather than weekly as a bulk shop. Make it a daily routine, spend your minimum £10, pick up your free newspaper and drop in a token!
We always love a good Gantt chart and the one published this week for the Civic Plaza Car Park Redevelopment Project gives us plenty of food for thought. Safely viewed on an A4 page or from the back of the room when projected at the Cabinet meeting, it’s reassuringly unreadable and slopes down in the right sort of direction.
By any stretch of the imagination, the Civic Plaza Car Park Redevelopment Project is a ‘complex project’, particularly if the external programme dependencies and overall programme governance approach are factored in.
So we though it was worth a closer look, starting with the green bits – the work done to date:
Task 3 has already been ‘re-planned’ to the right and we note that the ‘Homes England’ Funding Agreement, which on plan completed on January 19th, wasn’t publicised until two months later. (Perhaps HBC decided to sit on it for a couple of months.)
The much trumpeted ‘Homes England‘ grant of £3.5 million is actually being used to pay the bill for WBD (Womble, Bond, Dickinson), ‘Homes England’s regular partner in such matters, and while the actual projected costs of the project are not publicly visible, it’s probably safe to say that the £3.5 million represents a very small part of that.
Now we’re sure that WBD will have offered sound advice to the Cabinet Meeting at task 9 but we would be fascinated to know what the contingency plans for Brexit are. For the past few decades, public service procurement has been required to follow the well worn European Journal route indicated in tasks 15, 16 and 17, however, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit that won’t work and an, as yet undefined, alternative must be used. ( Finger’s crossed, eh?)
Assuming that the EU Journal process can be followed, April is going to be a busy month, reviewing and scoring the questionnaires from prospective development partners. During May, June and July, HBC and WBD will be in discussions with the shortlisted candidates, reviewing initial schemes and developing the detail behind the formal ITT (Invitation to Tender). August holidays will be put on hold for some while the ITT is published to suppliers, responded to and returned to HBC, with selection of the preferred bidder taking place in September. October promises to be another busy month with the negotiation and acceptance of a Developer Agreement (DA) “that binds the Development Partner to progress the development of the site in line with the Council’s aspirations around design quality, numbers and tenure and Homes England’s requirements within the agreed timeframe”. With that in place and HBC formal approval of the DA, appointment of the Development Partner will follow.
All by the end of October!
There then follows seven months of Design and Planning activity, four months to prepare the planning application for approval this time next year. I don’t doubt that we’ll all be invited to comment in the usual time honoured manner, but by this time the train will either be moving at express speed or will be well and truly off the rails. The overlapping of Detailed Design work with the Planning Approval process suggests that there will be little time for taking on board public comment.
Now most Gantt charts at this ‘sales’ level have a ‘here a miracle occurs’ moment and this one is no exception as we move into the ‘Construction’ phase. The dates on the left – the task start and end dates – now start to diverge from the right hand side of the chart, which suggests that this is a Powerpoint exercise rather than the output of a planning tool.
After four months of Contractor Procurement and preliminary work activity, a 22 month construction phase of the project kicks off. While the factory build of the prefab apartments takes place at an, as yet unspecified site, six months will be spent building new multi-storey car parking to compensate for that being lost through the development. Between October 2020 and March 2021, (Or should that be between March 2021 and July 2021?) it looks as if the Police Station, Magistrate’s Court and the Job Centre will be demolished, making way for the delivery of the prefabs.
Task 37, ‘MMC (Modern Method of Construction) Tool-up‘ is shown as running between ‘May 2020 and June 2020’, i.e. ending before the completion of contractor procurement. However, the graphic shows that activity running a more realistic four months later, through September and October 2020.
By September 2021, with most of the site assembly complete and only the completion of the ‘non MMC’ elements remaining, six months of Marketing and Letting activity begins. Or so it says in the task column. The Gantt chart itself shows this running nine months later, starting in June 2022, all rather confusing.
Project Completion either takes place between Jan and March 2022 or between June and August 2022, depending on which side of the chart you read. To the casual observer, the project completes by March 2023; to a more critical eye, it completes in August 2023.
And you’ll be delighted to see that the most well loved of town centre landmarks, the public footbridge linking the Civic Plaza to the historic town centre, is safely preserved in today’s publicity image from Homes England.
We already knew that Havant Borough Council were planning to invest their effort, our money and a modicum of grant funding from Homes England on new housing on the Civic Plaza site. Today they gave us a glimpse into how that might look in reality.
The image above might almost have been taken from the top of the last great white elephant, remember the thirteen storey tower block at the north east corner of Market Parade? If it’s hard to get your bearings, the five gabled unit in the foreground is built on the site of the Job Centre Plus in Elmleigh Road. To the left of that block, the magistrate’s court and the police station have given way to further blocks, masking – at least at ground level – the rather more utilitarian blocks built behind them on the existing Civic Centre car park.
It’s almost reassuring to see that Havant’s welcoming landmark, the decrepit railway footbridge is (just about) still standing proudly at the bottom right hand corner of the picture.
We look forward to the submission of the planning application safe in the knowledge that the planning process will most likely take its usual course, going through the motions, following ‘the process’, encouraging public comment then taking its own counsel.
Welcome to another year! We seem to be galloping through the twenty-first century at an unseemly pace; it certainly doesn’t feel like twenty years have passed since the year 2000 was looming large with the country poised for the impact of IT systems meltdown. The likelihood that ‘Brexit Day’ on March 29th will pass us by as a similar non-event seems low, at least to this editor.
While the last nineteen years have passed at breakneck speed on the calendar, as we are all aware that the rate of change in Havant is rather less hurried. As we wrote in November, “This is the town where bundles of tumbleweed and old McDonald’s boxes have rolled slowly past the faded hoardings at 44-54 West Street for more than a decade”.
As the New Year begins and the officers of Havant Borough Council look for permanent replacements for their lost leaders, we look forward to engaging with the Council on the subject of the Regeneration Study. (If you’ve not already spotted the search box on this page, type ‘regeneration’ into it and hit enter to see our various musings on the subject.)
More importantly, with the Draft Havant Local Plan 2036 moving slowly but inexorably towards adoption, we need to step up the pressure for revision of some of its more bizarre content, notably the exclusion for planning purposes of East Street from the definition of the Town Centre.
The whole of East Street, including the East Pallant Car park, is under threat in the current draft of the Local Plan. With ‘The Spring‘ going from strength to strength and various new retail and service businesses emerging in East Street against all odds, the decision to remove this part of the historic town centre area from the plan is just plain crazy. You may already have received a copy of our flyer regarding the car parks through your door, but if got thrown out with the wrapping you can still read it here. If you use the East Pallant car park and are concerned about the future of East Street, please write to the three ward councillors at the addresses given in the flyer.
The West Street Dominos Pizza application, resubmitted rather cynically over the holiday period will continue to occupy us in the weeks ahead and we’re delighted once again to have the commitment of our ward councillors on the side of reason.
The six ward Councillors on the Development Management Committee on October 18th rejected the original application unanimously and given that there is no material change to this re-application we should expect the same result.
To view a summary of all previous articles on this website relating to the applications submitted by Carrell’s for 39 West Street, please take this link.
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.
Following publication of the ‘Pre-submission’ version of the ‘Havant Borough Council Local Plan 2036’, we encourage you all to look through this document by taking this link. Don’t be downhearted by the document size, head for page 5 and look through the index which is fully ‘clickable’. Take a look through the areas which interest you and make your own notes.
Unfortunately, we’ve yet to find such a form at that location on the HBC website but will let you know when we do.
In the meantime, if you would like to share your comments with us, please do so by using the form below. Please quote Heading and Paragraph reference – e.g. ‘H2’ and ‘6.15’ in the image below, when using this form to send us a comment on this document.
Please don’t forget to press the submit button above!
Havant Borough Council have today circulated details of the ‘Pre-submission’ version of the ‘Local Plan 2036’. The full text of the announcement is quoted below.
(To open or download a copy of the full document, please scroll down to the bottom of this post and press the ‘Download’ button. )
The Havant Borough Local Plan 2036, which sets out how the borough will develop with homes, jobs and infrastructure, will be considered by councillors on Wednesday 30 January at 5.30pm.
At the meeting, councillors will consider the Local Plan and decide if it is ready to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government following the final proposed consultation.
The Local Plan sets out how the Borough of Havant will develop over the next 17 years. It outlines the strategy for ensuring that the growth needed is delivered in the right places and is of the right character and quality. It also ensures that this growth is delivered alongside supporting roads, schools and services such as health, as well as retail, leisure and community facilities.
The Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 includes a number of proposals to meet housing, employment and infrastructure needs for the borough. These include the regeneration of Havant and Waterlooville Town Centres together with Hayling Island Seafront. These are key priority sites in the newly adopted Regeneration Strategy.
The plan also identifies Southleigh – a new community between Emsworth and Denvilles providing up to 2,100 homes – and the provision of 82,780 square metres of employment floorspace to support a population expected to rise by 16,912 during the lifetime of the plan.
The council is aiming to submit its plan to the Secretary of State during summer 2019 to be considered by an independent inspector at an ‘Examination’. The examinations are expected in the winter.
Having an up-to-date Local Plan in place will mean the council can retain influence over where development should be located, rather than being delivered in an ad hoc way as a result of speculative planning applications, sometimes without sufficient benefit to the local communities.
The decisions regarding the Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 follow an extensive preparation period that began in 2016. As part of this, two consultations were held with the local community. Most recently, more than 500 comments (representations) were made during the Draft Local Plan consultation, which was held in 2018. These comments have been collated and analysed. In response to this feedback, the report to Full Council has removed a number of sites previously considered for development and made other changes to the plan.
Councillor Leah Turner, Cabinet lead for Communities, Development and Housing, said: ” The Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 is the strategy that will underpin how we achieve the homes, jobs and infrastructure that our residents require. Crucially, this up-to-date Local Plan will mean we can protect the borough against speculative development and avoid government intervention which could imposed more development than we believe to be sustainable.
“It has been an extensive process to get to this point. Importantly, we’ve been able to develop the Local Plan with residents’ input. We’ve listened to the feedback from our consultation last year and have made a number of minor changes. These will now go before all council members for a decision.
This one may seem to be well out of our immediate area but it is nevertheless of interest as we look to the growth and prosperity of Havant Town Centre. While we are all aware of the aspirations of the Havant Borough Regeneration Strategy we may be less conscious of the fact that just up the road, East Hants District Council is snapping at our heels.
We’ve already noted that housing development along Barton’s Road west of the crematorium is a given and you could be fooled into thinking that’s a pleasant green space on the northern side of that proposed development.
Think again, that piece of land actually comes under the remit of East Hants District Council who will be more than happy to satisfy their own housing targets on land for which the infrastructure requirements, schools, surgeries and transport, will fall on HBC Council Tax bills. (OK, so East Hants DC and Havant BC are supposedly joined at the hip but we probably wouldn’t argue if you felt that particular joint is in need of more than a little surgery.)
So here’s another example, recently submitted for outline planning by Bloor Homes to the east of Horndean and to the west of Rowlands Castle. This image shows a current view of the top of Horndean Road where it meets the A3(M), with the Fullers Distribution Centre and Keydell Nursery at the top right. Any ideas how EHDC might drop 800 new houses into this picture?
On the one hand, it should be good news for the prosperity of Havant Town Centre shops, restaurants (real ones please), pubs, libraries and leisure facilities, but the increased population is going to seriously stretch the infrastructure.
The Board was conducting a short inquiry into the discharge of sewage effluent into Langstone Harbour. Representatives of Southern Water Authority (sic) had been invited to attend this session to give evidence and answer questions from members of the Board.
The meeting was introduced and chaired by Cllr Diane Lloyd, who we can report pulled few punches.
Members of the public were also welcome to attend and observe this session and could request to make a deputation to the Board on this matter. Members of our peer groups on Hayling Island, Richard Platt from Hayling Island Residents’ Association and Dave Parham from the Save our Island campaign group both gave well constructed and presented deputations to the Board.
Southern Water Services Ltd[they ceased to be an authority when they were privatised back in 1989] fielded their publicity team of Sam Underwood and Paul Kent. Unfortunately, neither had read the brief and were lamentably unprepared for the level of intelligent questioning that came from both the deputees and the Board.
It may be that they’d done their research and assumed that while the local residents might have done their homework, the council would have remained docile. Not so this evening. Here was the council working at rather more depth than exhibited at last week’s Council meeting. Several of the councillors who made up the panel were observed to ask suitably searching questions of the two representatives of Southern Water, only to be met with a consistent response of ‘I’ll get back to you on that’.
Without going into the detail, we might sum up Southern Water’s attitude as:
“We keep telling the public that they shouldn’t flush ‘wet-wipes and other un-flushables’ down the loo, but they keep doing it.”
“We don’t have a policy of preventative maintenance, but we do react (eventually) to foreseeable issues, but only once they’ve been reported.”
“We don’t actually have any of those measurements so we can’t actually tell you how much we spilled into the ditches.”
“The ditches that carry the effluent that results from our spillages are not our responsibility. Try HBC, HCC, the Highways Agency or (that old get-out) riparian owners.”
“We think we know where all our manholes are, but it’s quite possible that Dave did actually find one we weren’t aware of.”
“We take full accountability for our kit, and we’re certainly not blaming our customers. But the fact remains that they’re the ones that who keep flushing wet-wipes down the loo. Oh, and the people who own the ditches we accidentally discharge into simply don’t maintain the undergrowth.”
“You can’t expect us to maintain fallback plans for all of those things that seem to recur with monotonous regularity.”
“We’re forward thinking, we plan capacity for growth over a 15 year period”
That last one interests us greatly, given our concerns about the Local Plan 2036 and the increase in number of ‘bums on loos’ in the borough with over eleven thousand houses in prospect. We may just test that statement…
Our SW friends went away, tails down, to regroup and come back to us with some detailed answers. We’ll let you know when we receive them.
As for our representatives on the Council, well they actually impressed this evening. Let’s hope they are as exercised when questioning themselves over the way the Regeneration Programme is going. We were impressed by Cllr Lloyd’s chairmanship, and also by Cllr Clare Satchell’s and Cllr Joanne Thomas’ questioning.
But then as ward councillors for Hayling East and Hayling West, with residents in the public gallery perhaps that’s only right…
Our subscription income is the sole source of funds available to us to cover the cost of printing, room hire, stationery and the maintenance of this website.
If the content you find here is of interest to you and if you share our desire to make an active and positive contribution to the regeneration of Havant, please consider joining us. The outlay is small but the potential impact our combined voice can have is significant. Please take this linkto view the various ways of joining us, including a simple online form.
We’re quietly celebrating the fact that tonight’s Development Management Committee meeting listened, questioned, debated the detail and came to the only sensible conclusion regarding the application by Geo & R Carrell Properties Ltd to re-open the old HSBC bank building as a pizza takeaway.The Development Management Committee clearly agreed with us, overturning the recommendation of the Planning Manager and voting on an amended proposal to reject the application by six votes to one. Click on the image to read more.
Among the other issues currently under scrutiny are the new housing developments proposed for the northern boundary of St Faiths on Barton’s Road and the development of the Forty Acre fields at Bedhampton. While some of these might appear to be outside of our more traditional ‘town centre’ remit, the significant increase in the residential population proposed presents a significant opportunity for Havant Town centre. With Havant now poised to provide the central hub for these new residential communities, we are looking to Havant Borough Council to rise to the challenge and invest in the quality and appearance of the town centre.
After ten long years, derelict brownfield sites like 44-54 West street can no longer be tolerated.