Inspector rejects plan for eco-friendly home at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport

A computer-generated image of the planned three-bedroom eco home
A computer-generated image of the planned three-bedroom eco home

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PLANS to transform a former munitions store into an eco-friendly home have been thrown out by a government planning inspector.

Land owner Alan Dawes applied to Gosport Borough Council to build a three-bedroom home at the old cordite magazine off Britannia Way, Priddy’s Hard, Gosport.

The plan was met with fierce opposition by neighbours who feared it would harm wildlife.

But the council lost the ability to vote on the application after it took longer than 15 weeks to decide, meaning Mr Dawes could appeal to the government planning inspector.

But the appeal has now been dismissed.

Councillor Roger Allen, who represents people living in the Hardway area, said: ‘I’m delighted because it is absolutely the right decision.

‘People who live here were totally against it and rightly concerned about the effect it would have on wildlife.

‘There is a lot of important wildlife there.’

Neighbours were concerned that badgers and bats would be affected by any development there.

The building is inside a wooded and fenced-off area within the Priddy’s Hard site of importance for nature conservation.

When the Ministry of Defence closed Priddy’s Hard and moved out the magazine was to provide a breeding area for great crestednewts.

Inspector Nick Fagan, who considered the appeal, said in a report: ‘The onus lies with the appellants to justify not only that the relevant rare flora and fauna have been adequately protected but that biodiversity and nature conservation have been enhanced by the proposal, as they claim.

‘From their submitted representations I cannot conclude that this would be the case.

‘I consider the design of the new dwelling to be a missed opportunity.

‘The changes proposed would seriously compromise its external appearance as well as fail to retain a feel for the building’s historic purpose.’

Mr Dawes was not available for comment when approached by The News last night.