Residents attended a planning meeting on September 10 where they voiced their objections, as well as pointing out existing safety issues at the junction of Lynchborough and Passfield Road - a well-known accident hotspot.
The proposal is linked to planned employment space at Louisburg Barracks, with a plan for the business centre to be rebuilt in Bordon.
The Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company’s plans for job creation will facilitate the loss of space at the business park - in effect moving the centre to a more “suitable” place.
But councillors felt there was significant traffic congestion along Headley Road, anticipated to increase, and the cumulative effect of traffic from a large residential development travelling towards Liphook along Headley Road was unacceptable. Roger Hutton, the agent acting for the owner of Passfield Business Centre, told the Herald that the centre had been built as a research laboratory in the 1950s and converted to office and industrial use when it was no longer needed.
He said it was built using asbestos as the main insulating material at a time when its danger to human health was not known and the presence of asbestos had meant that only cosmetic, rather than major, repairs have been possible and claims the result is a centre that has deteriorated to a point where it is beyond economic repair.
Mr Hutton added: “If the plans are approved, the applicant will not only rebuild the business centre to be in a more appropriate location in Bordon, but will also provide an additional 100,000 square feet of space for other businesses which would like to set up in the town, as well as create new employment opportunities in the town.
“The owners of the centre anticipate investing a total of around £17million in employment to help support the planned future growth of the town.”
The application is made alongside the proposed development of employment space at Louisburg Barracks, expected to be submitted shortly by the Regeneration Company.
The Passfield Business Centre owner states that if the two applications are approved, the delivery of the new commercial space within the Enterprise Zone in Bordon will be linked by a legal agreement to the residential redevelopment at the Passfield Business Park.
He claimed the two applications, taken together, represented a proposed investment of more than £40m in the district in both employment-generating development and new housing.
In 2016 proposals for 48 residential units, a community hall and open space area were turned down by the district council’s planning committee members, who be making their decision within the next few months.
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