Local News Traffic News

Marlborough Street Reopens After 9 Months of Closure

Residents and businesses in can breathe a sigh of relief as Marlborough Street reopens its lanes to traffic after a nine-month hiatus. However, the iconic Anton Laundry building that was the cause of the closure, after a suspicious fire rendered the building doomed for demolition, will not be rising from the ashes.

The news was announced by Test Valley Borough Council Leader, Cllr Phil North, on his Facebook page, signalling the end of a challenging period for the community.

The closure, initiated by Hampshire County Council following a fire incident at the former Anton Laundry site in May 2023, was a precautionary measure to ensure public safety. The risk of the building collapsing onto the road necessitated the closure, disrupting the flow of traffic and causing inconvenience to locals.

Efforts to preserve the building, given its listed status, were explored through collaborative discussions between site owners, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), and Historic England. Various strategies were considered, including the possibility of propping up the structure to enable the road’s reopening while maintaining the building’s integrity. Unfortunately, assessments concluded that such measures were not feasible, leading to the recommendation of demolition by Historic England due to the building’s compromised state post-fire.

Cllr Phil North expressed disappointment regarding the inability to salvage the historic structure but emphasised the importance of prioritising public safety. He acknowledged the frustration experienced by residents and businesses during the prolonged closure and welcomed the reopening of Marlborough Street as a significant development for the community.

With the road once again accessible to traffic, attention may now shift towards the future of the Anton Laundry site – it seems the events have worked in the favour of the site owners in their pursuit for housing developments, though local residents have expressed disappointment that an iconic site will no longer be standing tall.

(Photo From Cllr Phil North Facebook Page)