Emsworth’s South Street provides an attractive route to the harbour, but could be much enhanced by careful in-filling of gaps in the west frontage and re-siting of the public toilets. Emsworth CLT is examining possible changes in South Street and the adjacent car park. As far as the car park is concerned, the aim is to make more efficient use of the area, but to keep the same number of parking spaces. The Hewitt’s building (next door to the Blue Bell pub) belongs to Havant Borough Council (HBC) and is used by ‘Right to Work’, but this could change in the future, in which case the Hewitt’s site could be re-developed. If the toilets were re-sited and the resulting ‘gap’ in-filled, this would offer the opportunity for an exciting self-financed mixed-use scheme incorporating housing, some commercial and community facilities and an improved public realm. The scheme could include a few affordable homes or create a community fund for application elsewhere in the town.
These ideas have featured in preliminary discussions with HBC; these discussions have also touched on the area adjacent to the former hospital site, now the GP Surgery. Theproposed the idea of a Community and Public Service Hub in North Street, which would include the Community Centre (with the re-sited public library), St James Church, the Baptist Church and the Museum but might also include health services not provided by the GP Surgery, social care and other community services. Emsworth CLT is exploring the scope for implementation of those ambitions.