Gosport’s country park gets funding shot in the arm

Plans to overhaul the Alver Valley Country park jumped forward after a cash boost. Picture: Rita Sykes
Plans to overhaul the Alver Valley Country park jumped forward after a cash boost. Picture: Rita Sykes
Copperfields Hair Studio, on Hayling Avenue in Baffins. Picture: Google Street View PPP-171118-153719001

Hair salon in Baffins damaged by thieves

0
Have your say

PLANS to overhaul the Alver Valley Country park jumped forward after more cash was pumped into the project.

Last night councillors at Gosport Borough Council agreed a scheme worth nearly £500,000 to improve the park.

Improvements include moving shingle to stop the River Alver blocking up, new entrances and car parks.

Cash for the project is due to come from the council and other organisations.

Council leader Mark Hook said: ‘It’s something we want to offer as a green oasis in a very urbanised area.’

Work to make sure the River Alver does not block up at its outfall in Stokes Bay will cost £21,000 – with the Environment Agency paying £14,000.

The agency said that a permanent solution would need the river to return to its original course along Stokes Bay – but this would be costly.

Instead, every year shingle will be cleared from the outfall and moved 500m away.

If it works, the agency will fork out £14,000 to £15,000 to move the shingle each year.

Councillor Peter Edgar said it was a shame that the River Alver was blocked up from running along Stokes Bay.

He told the meeting it was done unnecessarily years ago to stop a problem with mosquitoes at the time.

But Cllr Edgar – also education boss at Hampshire County Council – urged the board to make sure young children are encouraged to visit the park with schools.

He said: ‘I support what happening. Let’s bring young people in from very early.’

The council also agreed to spend £78,000 on creating a footpath to link Stokes Bay to Apple Dumpling Bridge.

Officers have asked for £50,000 from the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire and a decision is due on September 23.

Further works include to improve the eastern gateway to the park at Grange Road.

The council is talking to the BMX club to make improvements to the track and said any works would combine a better access to the park and benefit the club.

It would include a new car park and picnic area and cost £180,000. That plan will need to go back to the board.

Cllr Hook said it was important to boost the BMX club – one of the best in the country.

‘That’s actually something we should be shouting about,’ he said.

Improvements to the western access at Cherque Way would cost £173,000, with £50,000 coming from Hampshire County Council.