Ambitions plan for Gosport’s ‘green lung’ is unveiled

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A MASTERPLAN for the Alver Valley has been unveiled that hopes to attract people from across the region.

New playgrounds, a garden centre at Grange Farm and a petting zoo at Oxstall Meadow are all on the agenda.

The borough council hopes to get the 155-hectare area accredited as a country park by Natural England.

It has earmarked £64,000 for the project this year but it will cost much more as the work progresses.

Cllr Mark Hook, Gosport Borough Council leader, said: ‘It it will attract people from outside Gosport into the area.

‘It will be an area you can, as a family, enjoy the surroundings but also as a cyclist, a dog-walker. It will encompass the whole range of activities.

‘The garden centre will be an attraction, a lot of people at this time of year will be driving to Titchfield and beyond to the garden centres.

‘The important thing here is that we recognise the need to keep that green lung open and not to develop the area.’

Grange Farm would be the main hub for visitors and a cafe would be built there. The nursery would be part of the garden centre.

A woodland car park and road would be put in at Home Heath, off Howe Road.

But one disgruntled person put up signs across the area ahead of councillors meeting to agree the plans at a community board.

The signs say the council has banned all dogs from the area but it hasn’t.

Cllr Hook said the park will have dog-free areas, while they can still roam free in others. Dogs will have to be on leads in children’s play areas and at preserved sites.

He said: ‘Dogs are absolutely not banned. We’ve made it quite clear there will be a traffic light system.’

At Alver Meadow there could be improvements to the BMX track, better access off Grange Road and the adventure playground would be improved as part of an Alver Valley-wide play trail.

A new cycle and pedestrian route would connect Apple Dumpling Bridge to Privett Road, with links to Stokes Bay.

And the Environment Agency would improve the River Alver, stopping flooding at Apple Dumpling Bridge.

New bridges would be put in at either the Wildgrounds or the north end of the River Nature Reserve to the north west of Grange Farm.

The council also hopes to own the gun club land north of Sandhill pond.