Garages sold off or knocked down for council cash

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MORE than 300 garages have been knocked down in a scheme to replace, repair or demolish hundreds of the council-owned buildings.

There are now 486 garages in Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent, compared to 811 in 2009, when the borough council scheme started.

And the authority has built 75 new ones, with 10 more on the way.

Another 24 were demolished in Bracklesham Road, Rowner, last month.

Resident Beryl Goddard, 78, of Bracklesham Road, said she was disappointed the garage she rented for 51 years was knocked down.

She said: ‘Some people had to throw their stuff away, it was terrible.

‘We just don’t know what is happening now.

‘We had to fill out forms to bid for a garage, which I think is all wrong.’

Mrs Goddard added she was first told about the plans at the end of last year and then was given just a week to move her possessions out.

She added: ‘They could have given us longer than a week.

‘People are always going to want garages.’

And she said only two vehicles are now parking in the cleared space. Ten new garages are planned for Bracklesham Road.

Conservative councillor Graham Burgess is the deputy leader of the council and chair of the community board.

At a council meeting last week, he told councillors 32 garages were sold at an average price of £5,800 each.

And he said although garages were demolished, there are 75 temporary parking spaces and 56 permanent spaces in the borough.

‘The suitability of sites for other uses are currently being considered.

‘In 2014-15 officers will be looking to present a revised programme once the results of the suitability of sites for other uses is known.’

He added the scheme, agreed in 2009, was delayed but is now making good progress.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn is the Liberal Democrat leader of the opposition at the council. He said there are issues in Norman Road.

‘There’s now major parking problems,’ he said.

‘There’s a large Tarmac area that hardly anyone dares parks there.

‘But what there are down there is three dumped cars.’

In 2009 the council agreed to invest £853,360 on the garages over seven years.