An artist's impression of how the town centre will
look in 2012 with, left, and without investment
A survey among Petersfield residents to discover which businesses should fill vacant lots in the town has thrown up few surprises.
Top of the list was a ‘second Waitrose with parking only for 4x4s’ closely followed by Barbour. ‘A Porsche dealership’ was third, while Primark had support from only one per cent of those surveyed coming out of Waitrose. Fortnum & Mason was another popular choice among the middle-aged.
Major Hold-Ups, a retired army veteran who now works for the Highways Agency, threw his weight behind an ‘Army Recruiting Office’.
“That’d sort ‘em out,” he blustered. “Oh, and an S&M club. Not much by way of that around here currently.”
A surprising number of people surveyed coming out of the 99p Store said they would welcome a 98p Shop as “times were hard”.
Teenagers admitted they preferred to shop “anywhere rather than Petersfield” and their most popular shops were those used either by their peers or by some twat on TV.
A DIY store and garden centre is sadly lacking according to Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh, who live at Titchmarsh, near
Dimmock said: “We believe the town would benefit from a water feature and some decking; but since Focus closed there’s simply nowhere to buy the essential pieces.”
Other popular choices included coffee shops, ‘upmarket’ charity shops, a store when you can buy extended guarantees and a delicatessen specialising in sun-dried tomatoes.
East Hampshire Council, which conducted the survey, admitted that most of the answers had been predictable and that the survey was, to all intents and purposes, a waste of money.
A spokesman said: “Most of the answers were predictable and the survey was, to all intents and purposes, a waste of money. It didn’t matter what stores people want they’re not going to move into Petersfield town centre until the rents drop substantially. And that’s not going to happen all the time the landlords want to turn the properties into flats.
“Without some investment the town centre could become a ghost town – or a car park, and it’s well on its way to that as anybody visiting on a Sunday will tell you.”