Kia dealer expansion hits local opposition

Time 8:19 am, May 8, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-08 at 09.40.29PLANS to upgrade a Kia dealership in Lee-on-the-Solent, near Portsmouth, have been hit with local opposition.

Family-run Fine Cars, based in Gosport, has outgrown its premises – hoping to grow its site by knocking down two of the surrounding houses.

Expanding the dealership, say owners Brett and Howard Duke, would allow Fine Cars to improve their aftersales and workshop activity – including being able to replace customers’ tyres.

The expansion would also aide the dealer’s customer facilities – bringing 11 off road parking spaces with ‘improved access’ to the showroom.

‘All we’re really trying to do is secure jobs, and at the end of the day, keep the business going,’ said Brett Duke. ‘It’s not an expansion or the business growing, it’s not actually about that.

‘We have standards to comply to as well, we can’t just drift along forever 
with the same old machinery and the same systems in place. Every now and again we have to raise the bar.’

Planning officers have received ‘nearly 200’ letters over the plans, and while many local residents are in support, some still object.

Geoffrey Park, whose house borders the dealership, expressed his concerns at the plans to the Portsmouth News, saying:

‘There are few parking spaces outside of the properties in the vicinity of the Fine Cars garage as they are permanently occupied by customers’ cars attending the garage.

‘This is an almost entirely residential area and in my opinion more commercial development should not be allowed.’

Another, Sheila Baron, was concerned that solar panels on her house may be obstructed, saying: ‘This proposed extension is far too large and intrusive for the area.’

Picture credit: Google

Jon Reay's avatar

Staff Writer Jon is one of the Car Dealer team's newest members. You can also find him contributing to AOL Cars.

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