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Promise of over 400 jobs for Hedge End if new store built at Wildern Mill
NEW plans have been revealed to transform a derelict Hampshire site – creating up to 430 jobs.
A Next Home and Garden retail store, which would be one of the first of its kind in the UK, and 50 family homes are proposed for Wildern Mill in Hedge End .
Developers behind the scheme say the store would create up to 250 jobs when it opens, including apprenticeships, rising to 290 with extra seasonal employment.
Around 130 construction jobs would be created over three years while the store and homes were being built, and there would be about ten more jobs when the scheme was completed to deal with ongoing security and maintenance at the site.
Councillors have given the new proposals a cautious welcome.
Business leaders have also welcomed the huge jobs boost for the area, describing the plans as a “quality proposal”.
The former flour mill, which has been derelict since 2009, has been the subject of a number of controversies in the past, including a High Court battle when Eastleigh Borough Council tried to defeat plans for more than 180 new properties, including a huge block of flats.
Council chiefs lost their appeal and planning consent was eventually granted, but the homes were never built.
Certainly the idea of 50 family homes instead of a nine-storey block of flats is popular in the community.”
Councillor Keith Day, an independent member of Hedge End Town Council, said the only misgivings he had about the development were potential traffic problems in Turnpike Way, which is notorious for speeding.
He said: “In regard to there being 50 houses, rather than 180 flats, I think that will probably be more acceptable to people living nearby.
“The main concern is where the access road is – it’s always been a problem as to the safety on Turnpike Way.
“When the application goes in I would expect there to be some kind of traffic calming included.”
Chief executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Jimmy Chestnutt said the new plans were balanced.
He added: “Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has been consulted on initial plans and is of the view that the developer is bringing forth a quality proposal to two current vacant sites that in turn create jobs as well as a balance of residential and commercial use.”
The Wildern Mill site is owned by Town Quay Developments.
Next will be the developers for the store while the Daily Echo understands that Persimmon is in pole position for the development the homes.
Planning advisors Dalton Warner Davis are running a consultation on the new plans until Tuesday, August 14, ahead of a planning application in the autumn.
To comment on the plans email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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