PLANS to transform Haslar Hospital into a thriving residential and business community have taken a step forward.
Last night councillors voted to approve the outline plans for the historic site in Gosport, paving the way for a huge development project.
Pat Power, from Our Enterprise, is one of the developers behind Royal Hospital Haslar.
He told The News: ‘It’s a milestone in getting Haslar redeveloped into an award winning development and back to its former glory.
‘It’s a step to actually get on with the redevelopment.’
The huge £100m work, which could bring 1,000 jobs, could take up to sevent years.
Council planning officers have allowed 10 years.
But Mr Power said detailed plans for the former hospital building will be submitted now, with more to come soon.
Eric Birbeck MVO, from Haslar Heritage Group, has worked with the developer.
He told councillors at Gosport Borough Council’s regulatory board meeting of the importance of the site.
He said: ‘Haslar is an 18th century jewel in Gosport’s crown.
‘I’ve realised that Haslar produces a great affection by all those who worked and were admitted to Haslar.’
He said he fully backs the plans and praised the developer’s approach on the site.
The firm bought the site from the Ministry of Defence for £3m in 2009.
Developers now have outline planning permission for a 78-bed hotel, 286 homes, a retirement community with a 60-bed care home and 244 self-contained retirement units, along with business units.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage welcomed the news.
She said: ‘After five years of extensive planning, it is good to finally hear that the plans to regenerate the Haslar site are finally going ahead.
‘This site has a proud heritage and holds a special place in the hearts of Gosport people and it’s important that the future development of the site recognises this.’
The meeting heard a resident had concerned with the increase in traffic if the site is fully developed.
But Cllr Peter Edgar, who was spokesman for the Save Haslar campaign, said more than 200,000 people wrote to the campaign — and not one mentioned traffic worries if the site was redeveloped.
Backing the plans, he said: ‘We owe it to the hundreds of thousands of people who contacted us regarding this very special site to retain the distinctive character.’