THE future of a Basingstoke retail park hangs in the balance with its owners considering knocking it down, The Gazette can reveal.

Brighton Hill retail park, which has been hit by a number of store closures in recent years, could be demolished to make way for an industrial park, this newspaper understands.

It is understood that owners, LaSalle, have been in talks with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council about what to do with the 3.3-hectare site.

Pizza Hut has stood empty since it closed in September last year while Toys R Us has been left abandoned since it shut down in March 2018.

The park was built in the 1970s as part of the Town Centre Development Plan.

Read the full story in this week's Gazette, out now!

Also in this week's paper:

  • A nurse from Tadley has been awarded an MBE by the Queen in recognition of her work during the pandemic. Arlene Wellman is the chief nurse at the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in London and has responsibility for the organisation’s nursing, midwifery and healthcare support workforce.
  • A drug dealer was found in a Basingstoke B&B room with almost £20,000 of superstrength cannabis and two doubled-barrelled pistols, a court has heard. Kirk Matthews was arrested after police raided his room at Wessex House, on Winchester Road, on April 27.
  • A £300 million project to transform Basingstoke leisure park into a retail village poses a “significant risk” to the town centre, a report has found. Councillors believe that plans to turn the current home of the Aquadrome and Planet Ice into a retail park would pose a threat and a financial risk to the centre of town.
  • A domestic abuse charity has criticised the sentence given to a man who kept his partner prisoner in her own home and beat her for 10 hours. On Monday, Marc Long was jailed for three years for assaulting his then-girlfriend and preventing her from escaping the violence that she had to endure.
  • The leader of Basingstoke council has hit out at the prime minister over the “massively disappointing” decision to delay Freedom Day for four weeks. Councillor Ken Rhatigan (Conservative, Kingsclere) said Boris Johnson was wrong to extend current lockdown restrictions for a further month, calling it a “bitter blow” for the town’s hospitality industry.
  • Parents are urging the council to open up the town’s paddling pools to allow children to have fun after a tough 15 months. Families have been pleading with the council to re-open the paddling pool, along with Chineham Park Splash Pad, in Popley, and the fountains by Festival Place, particularly now the weather has become warmer.
  • The Gazette goes behind the scenes at two of our vaccine centres to meet those on the frontline of the monumental rollout that has seen more than 250,000 doses administered in the last six months.
  • Plus: The latest from Basingstoke Magistrates' Court.
  • Two pages of your letters to the editor.
  • Unveiling the mystery behind a family portrait up for auction in our latest Flashback Thursday column.
  • All the winners from our Hampshire Heroes Awards.
  • Eight pages of puzzles.
  • Your messages to loving dads ahead of Father's Day.
  • The latest business news.
  • Three pages of entertainment news.
  • Three pages of sports news.
  • And much more!

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