New ‘luxury’ £5m Fareham housing complex set to get the green light

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PLANS for a new £5m ‘luxury’ sheltered housing complex look set to get the go-ahead.

Proposals for a 40-unit scheme will replace the existing Collingwood House and part of Gibraltar Close on the Stow Estate in Fareham.

The current 26-bed home was built in 1971, and replacing it has been a priority for Fareham Borough Council.

Ward councillor Peter Davies said: ‘The present Collingwood House was built 40 years ago and is mainly bedsits.

‘That may have been OK at the time, but it doesn’t meet the aspirations of senior citizens these days.

‘We want a luxury development fit for the 21st century. The aim is to give older people the kind of place they deserve in their retirement years. It’s an excellent scheme, it’s near the doctor’s and the shops, it couldn’t be better placed.

‘We went to see Juniper Court in Bridgemary recently, and that’s the kind of model we want to create here.’

The new scheme will be a single three-storey building with a mix of one and two-bedroom flats.

With 2,400 families on the housing waiting list in Fareham borough at present, Cllr Davies, who is also chairman of the housing tenancy board, hopes schemes like this will help reduce that problem as well.

‘If we can get a good quality scheme like this we can encourage people who are under-occupying family homes to move out.

‘We need to free up more family homes for families and this is one way to do it.’

Housing officers are in the process of finding temporary homes for the current residents of Collingwood House and they will be moved back in when the scheme is finished.

Eight properties in Gibraltar Close will be demolished, four of which are used at the moment as temporary housing for the homeless.

One letter of objection has been received, from a home in Glenesha Gardens, on the grounds that the use of balconies could mean a loss of privacy for neighbours and the design is out of character with its surroundings. There will be 19 car parking spaces, as well as a drop-off lay-by.

An officer’s report recommends approving the plans, describing them as a ‘high quality design’ making a ‘positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.’

It will be discussed in a meeting of the council’s planning committee at the civic offices from 2.30pm tomorrow.