As you drive through Horndean Village centre you can’t help but notice the latest changes.
From what was a village that had every retail unit in use – there is now a vacancy.
The Spar and chemist shop located in the centre of the village has been boarded up. These shops have moved 50 meters across the road to take up residency in their new home on the former Gales Ales Brewery site. The former Spar shop is vacant and up for sale – a snip at £425,000 and includes the ground-floor shop with1,968 square feet, plus large 2 bed first floor flat.
The relocated Spar is all very modern and swish – plus there is ample parking. As you can see from the picture below there are also several more empty retail units on the left, ready and waiting for new business to move in.
Perhaps the saddest thing about this story is that the family-run community Post Office that has been a stalwart of Horndean Village since the late 1970’s is due to close. An in-store Post Office will relocate to the new Spar early 2015.
This means that Jo and Chris Hedger who have run the Horndean Post Office for the last 4 years are unlikely to be part of the relocated Post Office. Jo and Chris have a few ideas for the future and About Waterlooville have approached Jo and Chris to promote their new venture once announced.
The main decision behind the new move is that the current shop does not fall within the scope of new post office ‘formats’ which are being set up nationally and needs to change. (See the main Post Office website for more details).
The move will sadly, in effect, split Horndean Village in two: there is the mini precinct, just past the motorway bridge with it’s own (free) parking, then all the around the corner will be the new Spar, Chemists and the in the new year, the Post Office.
It is easy to blame the planners and local council for the demise of the Horndean Post Office. The root cause? The sale of Gales Ales to Fullers, the closure of Gales by Fullers, the planning approval to knock down the former brewery and build residential housing with the inclusion of a retail premises. Whether you like it or not – the blame is to fall squarely on “Progress”.
Do you shop here? What do you think of the changes to Horndean Village?