THE creation of a £4m hotel out of a derelict mansion will form the centre-piece of a major new development.
The scheme for Coldeast in the western wards of Fareham will also include 168 new homes as well as 40 units of sheltered housing plus a long-awaited swimming pool, allotments, and sports pitches on the 54-acre site.
And it will also provide a much-needed new 500-plot cemetery. The area’s cemetery at Holly Hill in Sarisbury Green is full.
The mansion has been empty for the past 15 years, but landowner the Homes and Communities Agency has Sanguine Hospitality lined up to invest up to £4m in refurbishing the building. It will transform the run-down plot into a 27-room hotel and wedding venue with 100 parking spaces.
But 52 letters opposing the plans were sent to Fareham Borough Council on various grounds, including concerns about overdevelopment and impact on local infrastructure.
Planning committee members raised concerns about the design of the sheltered housing block in the north east corner of the site. The block was only passed as an outline permission and will have to come back before the committee to approve the design.
Cllr Brian Bayford said: ‘Our philosophy in sheltered housing is to bring it into the 21st century. You don’t have a great deal of scope to design an acceptable building in that particular location.’
The overall plans were approved unanimously yesterday by the committee’s eight members.
Cllr Bayford, who is also ward councillor for much of the site, said afterwards: ‘It’s great news for the area.
‘The community facilities are very much needed, and we definitely need the new cemetery as well.’
But resident Ian Knight of Coldeast Way watched the meeting and said he wants guarantees for an electronic bollard to prevent traffic other than buses coming off Coldeast Way. He said: ‘I actually wrote supporting the scheme because I see it as a good thing, but that was on the condition that the bus bollard was installed.
‘I thought this road was going to be a quiet road, but now the two councillors who have spoken out against the bollard, Cllrs Bayford and David Swanbrow, are the ones who represent this area. I feel they’ve undermined it.’