By Connor Steel
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have confirmed that ‘demolition work’ on Osborn Road Multi-Storey Car Park is likely to begin from late November 2023 as part of their ‘ongoing development’ in the Town Centre; their executive committee also said to be considering multiple tweaks to these initial plans and a budget increase of more than £500.000 in costs.
Councillors have previously approved plans to replace the multi-storey building with a single “surface-level” car parking facility that will coincide with the new Fareham Live entertainment base; the new space set to include usage for electric vehicles and solar canopies alongside spots for 139 vehicles. Eight of these will be allocated for those with ‘disabilities’.
The new changes have been focused with improved drainage to protect against bad weather and an adding of multiple highway requirements which were not in the original plan. One big omission however is the solar photovoltaic canopies as these have a large initial cost and longer pay back period; this element of the planning being discounted at this time.
However construction costs have risen over the past eighteen months due to UK inflation and has affected the project’s initial budget; which has increased to £2.5m from the previous £1.96m. This has signalled a “small delay” to the start of development from October to November with any announcement of exact dates due to be published onsite and online.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts are stated to be covering the costs of demolition and creation of this new facility, whilst borrowing may be used to bridge the financial gap with loan interest serviced using revenue from coastal car parking. Councillors believe it will take approximately three to four years to get enough CIL receipts to ‘offset costs’.
The council have stated the new car park should be ready by Spring 2024 with most of the work occurring during these upcoming winter months. Readers may explore further information on the plans and any changes due to be made over time through this link; which includes downloadable reports, formal site proposals and many views from local residents.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL: Entrance for Osborn Road’s multi-storey that is due for demolition.