Old Fareham hospital site sees new plans for 37 properties

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THE site of an old hospital could soon contain dozens of new flats and houses.

Planning applications to build 40 properties on the site of St Christopher’s Hospital in Fareham have previously been granted on two occasions – in 2007 and 2009.

But developer Taylor Wimpey Southern has submitted a new application to Fareham Borough Council for 16 flats, 21 houses and 75 parking spaces for the site on Wickham Road.

The former Fareham Union Working House is the only remaining part of the original 19th century hospital structure.

Although campaigners failed in a bid to get it listed building status, it has been kept, and will be converted into a single detached home under the new proposals.

The rest of the old hospital has already been demolished.

But there have been 25 letters received by the council objecting to the plans. Many of these are concerned about the impact on existing nearby homes, overdevelopment and a lack of privacy.

Brenda Clapperton of the Fareham Society said: ‘We aren’t objecting to this. The original plans that came in were dreadful, but they have taken out three units and the designs are much better.

‘A lot of developments that come in now are so densely packed – this is a huge improvement.

‘They’ve pushed them back from the road and there’s a much better sense of design and symmetry to it now.

‘It’s a pity they couldn’t have done this the first time.

‘We are particularly happy that the old building is being retained as well, the council has been really quite supportive on that.’

The developer has also offered to make 15 of the properties affordable housing.

In-patients were shifted out of the St Christopher’s building in 2004 when health chiefs branded it unfit for use.

Some out-patient services continued to run there before being moved to Fareham Health Centre.

The planning committee is expected to decide on the application at its meeting on Wednesday.

An officer’s report recommends approving the plans subject to a number of conditions, including securing financial contributions for public open space and creating a traffic regulation order to lower the speed limit on Wickham Road to 30mph.