300 Jobs to be sacrificed for more Flats

Plans to build a business park on derelict land in Eastleigh town centre – providing up to 320 much needed local jobs – could be scrapped in favour of building more retirement flats.

Retirement homes specialist McCarthy and Stone are already advertising the ‘assisted living’ apartments they intend to build on the ‘Centris’ site although they have not yet even applied for planning permission.

The Park 21 plot, on the site of the former Pirelli factory, has been left undeveloped for 5 years. When granting consent for Park 21 the council had stipulated that there should be provision for business and jobs on the site to replace those lost to the town when Pirelli left and in order to provide employment for the new residents, however apart from demolishing the Pirelli buildings and erecting a perimeter fence no work was ever started.

With 5000 people on the housing list in Eastleigh there is a desperate need for affordable housing, but the proposed development is aimed at affluent over 55 year olds.

A similar Macarthy and Stone development in Bournemouth had 2 bed apartments priced up to £235,000 and came with service charges of £410 per month excluding meals.

McCarthy and Stone were forced to axe 120 head office staff in 2008 as the downturn meant that elderly clients were unable to sell their own properties to finance the purchase of retirement flats.

However they now believe that the recession is now over and that the housing market will soon ‘recover’ to the previously unsustainable levels of 2007.

Looking for a job in Eastleigh? Try our jobs page here.

Looking for Flats in Eastleigh? Try our property page here.

  6 comments for “300 Jobs to be sacrificed for more Flats

  1. Peter Jones
    June 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Fantastic news for all the people in desperate need of housing.

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    “Fantastic news for all the people in desperate need of housing.”  

    You are such a tease Peter!

    As you well know, the people who can afford to buy into this development could hardly be described as desperate neither are they likely to figure on the housing list.

    The kind of premium retirement development proposed are part of the housing problem not the solution…developers find them more lucrative to build rather than starter homes .

    You will have read how the bottom fell out of the retirement market recently becasue retirees were unable to shift their properties – it did not occur to them – nor MacCarthy and Stone to lower their asking prices.

    This is the fundemental root of the problem. All the people at the top end of the market, the househoders, developers, estate agents, mortgagors – have a vested interest in maintaining property prices at levels which fiancially cripple those at the bottom end.

    If someone suggested that retirement homes should be provided for pensioners by the taxpayer there would be an outcry yet the consequence of aging baby boomers using their property as a cash machine to fund their retirement is that the housing costs of those starting out in life have to subsidised by the taxpayer instead, in the form of Social Housing, Housing Benefit, Mortgage Interest benefits.

    MaCarthy and Stone think it is going to be a ‘return to normal’ for the housing sector soon, yet today we hear that 1 in 13 people of working age cant find a job.

    How do you have a recovery in the housing market with mass unemployment and the prospect of more people losing their jobs in the Public sector a certainty?

    Which brings us back to the loss of 300 jobs..

  3. Peter Jones
    June 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hi Ed,

    There are plenty of jobs in South Hampshire. The 1 to 13 ratio you quote is nationwide and is felt more in our Northern cities than the affluent South. The jobs will be created in the new Hedge End SDA Employment Zone and the classic market force of huge demand and lack of supply for housing will push the price of properties in the region to new highs.

    Next question……

  4. peter stewart
    June 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This curious figure of 5,000 on Eastleigh’s “housing list”! What does it really mean? Who are these 5,000 people? Do they not have accommodation? I don’t see them wandering the streets of Eastleigh!

    By a strange coincidence Tory led Hampshire County Council is trying to promote the mass development of 6,000 houses in Botley! Hmm! Hmm! Coincidence or what!

    Which brings me back to MY question: Who ARE these 5,000 people? Where have they come from? Are they the result of mass population displacement caused by mass immigration of cheap EU labour? Why have they come to Eastleigh if there is a housing shortage?

    I always understood there were more vacant properties than there were those looking for accommodation. So why not open up the rental market and make use of those vacant properties.

    WE DO NOT WANT MORE MASS HOUSE BUILDING IN EASTLEIGH! I bet you if you did a survey of local residents most of them would say the same thing. Hmm! Maybe I will do that myself!

  5. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    “Who ARE these 5,000 people? Where have they come from? Are they the result of mass population displacement caused by mass immigration of cheap EU labour? Why have they come to Eastleigh if there is a housing shortage?”

    I thnk you will find a good number are our own indigenous population. There aren’t any tent filled fields full of migrant east european workers that I’ve seen.

    You may have noticed the price of property recently.

    Many people on the housing list are currently living with family but cannot afford to buy or rent their own place – they have been priced out the market by the greedy at the top of the housing ladder.

    This includes people with young families having to share a house with an older generation or young people with one or two children trying to bring them up in a cramped one or two bedroom flat with no garden.

    There is cetainly a few in that position on the Park 21 estate.

    It’s inhumane.

    I wonder how they would to react to the news that Centris will be developed to provide 5* accomodation for wealthy outsiders?

    You are right Pete, we ought to canvass people on the Estate for their views and ensure that they are represented at planning level.

    You can’t have too much democracy IMO.

  6. peter stewart
    June 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Dear Editor,

    A few decades ago a lot of people lived in RENTED accomodation. What’s wrong with that? In some European countries most people live in rented accomodation. Does it make us happier having a damned great mortgage round our necks like a millstone. I predict a return to more rented accomodation. In theory that should REDUCE the price of housing as demand is reduced. We come into this life with sod all and in EU Britain most of us go out of this life with even less! I remember when it was easy to rent out your property or rent out a room or two. But then things shifted towards red tape. This happened after we joined the GLOBALIST EU. People expect too much these days. Bah! Humbug!

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