Council leader’s anger over homes for Gosport waterfront

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
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PLANS for 81 more homes at Gosport’s Royal Clarence Yard have been criticised by the town’s council leader.

Berkeley Homes has re-applied to Gosport Borough Council for planning permission to build a seven-storey tower block as part of the £100m waterfront development.

But Tory council leader Mark Hook said they were trying to build too many homes on the former MoD site.

‘It should be a high-quality waterfront development rather than somewhere where we can just put as many houses as we can,’ he said.

‘The waterfront is a tremendous opportunity.

‘But they seem to have just packed this site with housing which is a great shame.

‘The potential there for a world-class development has been watered down.

‘There should be open space and a good mix of recreation, business and housing.

‘At the moment it just seems to be permanent housing.’

Currently, Berkeley has permission to build 698 flats and apartments on the site, after winning a government appeal.

This includes a 78-home tower block opposite the Millennium bridge.

Now, the developer has submitted new plans for extra car parking spaces on the site and to increase the number of homes to 81.

Janine Leadbeater, head of marketing at Berkeley Homes, said a new restaurant, called Red’s Brasserie, is soon to open at the site.

She said the aim is to attract more businesses and restaurants to open on the site.

‘We are developing a mixed use development,’ she said..

‘There are already existing businesses on site.

‘It’s really developed the whole marina.

‘We have got restaurants and more commercial space on the waterfront.

‘It’s part of our vision to establish it as a place for people to live in a waterfront development.

She added: ‘Having a better waterfront environment with cafes and restaurants and businesses in the marine industry would be a thriving asset to the Gosport area.

‘It’s going to attract people on a day out.

‘They will come here as they are looking for more independence.

‘The people who live in the homes are maybe of a different profile like second home owners or people who are looking for a slightly different quirky location.’

The Royal Clarence Marina site in Gosport was bought by Berkeley Homes from the Ministry of Defence in 1999.