I am the District Ward Councillor for Horndean Hazleton and Blendworth. I received notification from East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) that it proposed to sell the Blendworth Depot, the adjacent car park and the public toilets as one site for residential development. EHDC owns the land. The public toilets would be closed immediately if the proposals went ahead.
I feel very strongly that the residents of Horndean should be objecting to the proposal. I would ask that residents consider this proposal and make their views known to me so that they can be forwarded on to the officer at EHDC who is dealing with the matter.
I make the following points:-
1. I do not agree with the proposal to sell the depot, car park and the public toilets as one lot for residential development.
2. It is vital that the car park is retained as a car park. Horndean village is extremely short of public parking. This is constantly raised by residents as one of the biggest problems for the village. A lot of the village centre has double yellow lines because the London Rd is the main thoroughfare for traffic from that part of Horndean to the north and Clanfield and vice versa. Horndean village is long established and a large part of the dwellings do not have parking. We then have the businesses in the village centre. The last couple of years has seen a transformation in the village with new businesses opening up and attracting not only residents but also people living outside the area. The village centre is now a vibrant place to be as opposed to somewhere that one drove through to get to somewhere else. Without public car parking, the continued rejuvenation of the centre cannot happen.
3. It is vital that the employment designation of the depot is retained. One of the big advantages of LEOH was that employment land would be provided on site. Historically, residents have just lived in Horndean but have had to drive out of the area to work. There is local interest in the site and this should receive serious consideration. It would increase employment opportunities in Horndean.
4. It is also vital that the public toilets are retained. I have already referred to the transformation of the village centre. The toilets are regularly used by members of the public, visitors to the area, tradesmen, taxi and lorry drivers. I often direct individuals to them. I also understand that the toilets do have historical interest because they won an award for their innovation when first built.
5. Looking to the future, I make the following observations:- 5.1. We have the development of the Land East of Horndean site about to commence. This will bring some 700 new dwellings plus a care village to the area. Once built, the village centre will need a great deal more parking if people are to be enabled to use the doctor’s surgery, eateries and shops.
5.2. The doctor’s surgery will be moving to the new purpose built surgery in the Old Brewery development. The Practice can be expected to grow into the much larger building and more parking will be required in the village, not less.
Action is required now. Please take the time to let me know your thought.
Ward Member for Horndean Hazleton and Blendworth.