GOSPORT’S council says it is still committed to revamping the town’s waterfront and bus station – but says it can’t rush the process.
At a meeting of Alverstoke Business Networking, Cllr Stephen Philpott, the chairman of the authority’s economic development board, said the council was still trying to inject new life into the area.
He talked about plans for the waterfront, and said the borough council has plans to sell off the bus station – but only to the right developer and at the right price.
Royal Clarence Marina has not attracted the businesses it hoped for after being developed by The Berkeley Group Holdings, which has held up the wider aim of regeneration.
Cllr Philpott said: ‘Gosport Borough Council only owns the bus station and Falkland Gardens so it’s not easy for us.
‘We want to get the most out of the area for the people of Gosport and will not rush into making any decisions, whatever the offer is.’
‘The views from across Gosport into Portsmouth Harbour are fantastic and we believe that a very good way to attract people to our development is to model our area on the views they’ll see across the harbour.
‘We’d like to open the whole walkway up but there have still been a few difficulties in developing the land because of how many groups own various bits and pieces.
‘Ideally, we would like people to come to Gosport for a walk and stop for an ice cream or some to eat in restaurants along the way.’
The waterfront and town centre has been identified as a Regeneration Area, with key objectives to improve the vitality and viability of Gosport.
There is planning permission in place for employment, retail and residential dwellings but some would like to build a unique concept.
Malcolm Dent, of Gosport Rotary Club, said: ‘It’s all well and good having the history and the heritage in Gosport, but we need something that is new that will give people a reason to come here.
‘It would be great to have something like the BIC Centre in Bournemouth. There is no facility like it either side of the water and it would help develop the town. I would also like to see the cinema that Berkeley promised us be built.’