Havant – Looking tired but lovely

A few images from a walk round the town one morning after opening the Gazebo garden. It was a beautiful September morning and the town looked lovely.

We can thoroughly recommend walking round the town looking upwards. Forget the sad state of many of the building frontages and empty shops and just enjoy the rooflines and the hanging gardens of buddleia, rooted in loose brickwork, tiles and gutters.

Since the great fire of 1760, little of the old town building stock remains. However, there are still enough Georgian and Victorian buildings and terraces in and around the town centre to lift the town above many of the small market towns around. Petersfield may have the South Downs National Park, but Havant’s got three beautiful harbours, access to the Solent, two main railway lines and some fantastic countryside within easy reach. We’ve also got the The Spring, the cultural heart of the town and the best Arts and Heritage Centre for miles around. And then there’s the park and the twice weekly markets….

With the new drive by Havant Borough Council on ‘Shaping our Future‘, we want the joint authority to start putting emphasis on investment in Havant. Not by dumping East Hampshire’s low cost housing target in our borough, but by investing in a real Town Centre regeneration. Regardless of what Havant Borough Council suggest in their Local Plan, the town centre will always remain firmly located at the intersection of North, South, East and West Streets, as if the presence of St Faith’s Church and the War Memorial didn’t already make that abundantly clear to everybody else.

With an influx of new residents moving into the new build housing sites over the next few years, Havant Town Centre will increase in importance as the local shopping and entertainment destination of choice. While we have the Solent and Central Retail Parks within walking distance, we must all celebrate the enterprising small businesses who’ve opened up in and around the town centre, including those like My Yarnery, temporarily driven online by insufficient Covid secure space.