- Leigh Park
infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Leigh Park
population = Approx 27,500
official_name= Leigh Park
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Havant & East Hampshire
post_town= Havant|postcode_district = PO9
postcode_area= PO |dial_code= (023) 92
Leigh Park is a large
suburb(population 27,500) of Havant, in Hampshire, England. It has four electoral wards: Battins, Bondfields, Barncroftand Warren Park (generally referred to as 'The Warren'). Staunton Country Parklies on the northern edge of Leigh Park, also within the Havant boundary.
Leigh Park was created as an overspill suburb for those made
homelessin Portsmouthby bomb damage which occurred during World War II. The land for the estate was purchased by PortsmouthCity Council from George Stauntonin 1944; work started on building in 1947 and the first residents moved in during 1949. The first shops opened in 1952 (in Stone square) and Park Parade, Greywell Shopping Centre which is Greywell Road (usually referred to as just Park Parade), the main shopping area in Leigh Park, opened in 1955.
The majority of homes in Leigh Park were built by Portsmouth City Council, not
HavantBorough Council, despite it being located within Havant's district boundary. Most Leigh Park tenantsliving in Council housing pay rent to Portsmouth City Council and Hermitage Housing, not to Havant Borough Council; nevertheless, residents still pay council taxto Havant as the provider of local services.
Construction of the estate was not fully completed until the early 1970s, although most of the houses in the area were built by 1960.
Now Hermitage Housing builds most new housing in Leigh Park.
Barratt Homesis currently building on the former Proctor & Gamblesite in the centre of Leigh Park. Leigh Park was one of the largest council estates in Europe, although many of the properties are now privately owned.
In 2004, Leigh Park made the news when a gang stole more than £100,000 from the Nationwide building society [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/4048241.stm BBC News: Masked robber trio steal £100,000] ] and a man sleeping on a bench was set on fire, in a separate incident. [ [http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:_7ud5GyBhb4J:news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/dorset/3818045.stm+leigh+park+site:news.bbc.co.uk&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=25&gl=uk&client=firefox-a Google cache of BBC News: Boy, 17, charged over burning man] ]
Recent attacks, such as the 2006 murder of a teenager in Greywell shopping precinct [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/5346080.stm BBC News: Mother's tribute to murdered son] ] maintain this area's notoriety as the roughest part of the
Portsmouth Urban Area
Leigh Park has a community centre located near Park Parade. And recently opened in Greywell Shopping Centre is Pride Of Place which is a community based project.
It also has The Original Place Young Peoples Centre in Purbrook Way. The centre is a focal point for young peoples activities including a weekly drop in youth club on Tuesdays and a thriving music project 'The Ozone' that runs every Wednesday evening featuring performances and jams from local bands and young musicians. There is also a Craft Organisation situated just round the corner from the Greywell centre and the Community Centre called Making Space. Making Space offers a place to try out different arts and craft activities with professional makers and artists.
The main shopping precinct is served by Stagecoach
BusRoutes 21, 23, 37 and 39. Local operator Emsworth & District BusRoute 27 which runs through the estate on a service between Rowlands Castle, Havant and Southbourne and First Group Busroutes 63 and 145
On Fridays and Saturday night there is night bus service N23 which operates between Southsea and Leigh Park.
The suburb's main non-league football side is Havant & Waterlooville who currently play in the
Conference South- two divisions below the Football League. The teams main claim to fame is reaching the FA Cupfourth Round in the 2007-08 season when they twice took the lead against Liverpool at Anfieldbefore finally losing 5-2.
Havant Hockey club play at Havant College on Barncroft Way (Just on the outskirts of Leigh Park). The team were National and European Champions in the 1990s.
The street High Lawn Way just beyond the Crown Bingo Hall also offshoots onto a Bowls club, 2 tennis courts and a Common playing fields and children's play area.
The suburb is within the
Boroughof Havantand includes the Battins, Bondfields, Barncroft and Warren Park wards.
Leigh Park is served by the Havant MP
David Willetts, a Conservative.
Leigh Park contains several primary schools: Front Lawn, Trosnant, Riders, Sharps Copse, Park House, Warren Park, Barncroft School and St Albans.
Leigh Park contains 2 Secondary schools: Staunton Community Sports College (formerly Staunton Park Community School (From 1988, and previously Wakeford Comprehensive School) and also Park Community School previously until 1988 Broomfield. It also contains many other primary schools such as : Riders(Infants and Junior), Front Lawn (I and J), Sharps Copse (I and J), Barncroft (I and J), Trosnant (I and J), Park House (I and J), Warren Park (I and J)
There is one College, Havant College, located on the periphary of Leigh Park, near to Havant town centre and Railway Station.
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