Council homes set for Gosport under new £2.5m plans

The team passes the Nelson statue in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland (171022-0023)

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NEW council homes are set to be built in Gosport for the first time in four decades.

The £2.5m scheme will see up to 16 two-bedroom homes constructed on a vacant plot behind Agnew Family Centre, in St Vincent Road.

It has been welcomed by nearby residents as the homes will be built on the site of demolished bungalows.

Ken Milward is the chairman of the St Vincent Road Residents’ Association.

The 59-year-old said: ‘The plans are great, I’m all for it.

‘People were fed up with seeing the bungalows. They are much needed.’

Mr Milward added residents were glad that Agnew Family Centre, a homeless shelter, would not be extended into the space.

Graham Burgess is the deputy leader of Gosport Borough Council and community board chairman.

He said: ‘It is the first time in four decades that the council has built council homes. We wanted to build our own. I am looking at other places to redevelop.’

People living in the bungalows were moved out between 2010 and 2012 after the council was told work could only be done with them empty.

Documents seen by The News show the cost of repairing seven of the bungalows would have been £37,200.

But Cllr Burgess said that would not have been the best option for the area.

He said: ‘The cost of repairing was uneconomical.

‘The homes are a really positive thing for Gosport.’

The council says it is meeting demand by building two-bedroom homes as just a sixth of council houses have two bedrooms. A third of all people on the housing waiting list need two-bedroom homes.

Five on-street car park spaces will be lost but the plans will bring 32 spaces, with 11 of those being on the street.

Forton ward councillor Keith Farr said he is pleased the homes will be built.

He said: ‘People can go in more stable housing. At least we can have some houses, which we haven’t had for a long long time.

‘The residents are going to be very happy with what they’re going to see. The bungalow residents are happy where they’re all moved to.’

The homes will be owned and run by the borough council and will be subject to the right-to-buy scheme.

Council staff say the cost of the homes will be recouped.

Councillors meet on Wednesday to agree the plan.