Developer plans homes at former swimming pool

Copperfields Hair Studio, on Hayling Avenue in Baffins. Picture: Google Street View PPP-171118-153719001

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A FORMER swimming pool is set to be demolished to make way for affordable homes, under plans submitted to Gosport’s council.

Developers hope to build 23 houses on the site of the former recreation centre, off Davenport Close in Rowner.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council Councillor Mark Hook said the homes were needed ahead of the Rowner Renewal Project finishing in 2018.

Cllr Hook said: ‘It’s been a concern for me and it’s one that officers and members will know well – I want that area tidied up.

‘By 2018, we’ll have the whole of the Rowner area complete, the Alver Village and everything else.

‘It will be a nightmare if we do all that but yet we still have the old Rowner Rec standing.

‘So I’m delighted to see the application in with the recommendation to approve.’

It comes as the building, unused since 2004, is now in a bad state after suffering from fire damage and vandalism.

Planning permission was granted in 2009 to develop homes on the site and bring the centre back into use as a leisure facility.

But this was unsuccessful due to the condition of the building and viability issues, says to a council report.

The developer plans to make 19 of the homes affordable housing, with 12 for rent, seven shared ownership and four for private sale.

The plans will see six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom flats, along with four two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom houses.

So far, two objection letters have been sent to the council over the plans.

One, from a resident living in nearby Howe Road, wrote to say that access to the playing fields by the western path would be too narrow.

And he added the path did not fit in with plans followed in the Rowner Renewal scheme, which he said allows for wide paths to aid crime prevention.

Another nearby resident raised concerns about the bin store for the flats being installed near the resident’s property.

The letter also raised concerns over loss of privacy due to flats overlooking existing homes.

The developer has since amended the plans to remove balconies overlooking homes and moved the store further away.

Councillors will vote on the plans on Monday at the regulatory board, held in the Town Hall at 6pm.