After picking up a parcel from the Post Office this morning, I stopped off at the recently demolished BAE site to get a couple of pictures before development starts.
Havant Borough Council recently agreed plans for a new ‘leisure complex’ which will be built on this location. A bowling alley, hotel and pub are all due to be built on this former BAE site and Waterlooville will see it’s first cinema since The Curzon closed in 1959. The complex will also house a gym, a drive-through restaurant and the discount food store Aldi.
This is great news for the residents of Waterlooville and the surrounding areas as many of these amenities are a good car drive away – Gun Warf/Port Solent/Chichester for the cinema; and Gun Warf for bowling. The nearest hotel is currently the Premier Inn at Horndean.
The building of Aldi means that Waterlooville residents will be spoilt for choice as far as supermarkets go with Sainsburys, Asda, Waitrose and Marks and Spencers all within walking distance of each other. With the new housing developments popping up on every piece of available land there is obviously, to the Supermarket companies anyway, considerable demand. It will be interesting to see if there are any casualties in Waterlooville’s own supermarket war. Personally, I love Aldi and can’t wait for this new one to be built.
Anyway, back to the current state of the development; it is eerily quiet and the diggers are abandoned. The hardcore mounds are reminiscent of the Sainsbury’s site before work started back in April.
Waterlooville is changing beyond recognition.
Next year Waterlooville celebrates it’s 200th birthday – and it unrecognisable from the Waterlooville of 1815 which back then consisted of just five buildings; the Heroes Pub and four retirement cottages.
Will the building of the new complex mean that the centre of Waterlooville ‘shifts’ and leave the original town more desolate than it is now? Obviously there must be demand for shops and amenities in the Waterlooville area, but perhaps to the detriment of the town centre. Is this just the sign of the times?