Rowner buildings due to be knocked down next week

How part of the Rowner renewal project will look
How part of the Rowner renewal project will look

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THE last piece of the old Rowner estate is due to be knocked down next week.

Demolition work starts on Thursday as part of the multimillion pound regeneration.

And the announcement has been welcomed by residents and community leaders in Gosport.

Gosport Borough Council deputy leader Graham Burgess said: ‘It’s brilliant, it’s finally getting rid of the stigma of the concrete jungle.

‘Removing it is the final piece of the jigsaw.

‘It has been a tremendous success.’

Resident Jim Stallard, who runs Rowner Community Events, said the demolition brings up mixed feelings.

He said: ‘It will be sadly missed but on the other hand it’s well past its sell by date.

‘When it was first put up it was good for what it was used for but since the MoD pulled out of this part of the estate its gone to rack and ruin.

‘People are starting to appreciate the area and enjoy themselves.

‘People are moving in here and are actually getting the benefits.’

The nine-story Lawrence Walk, five-storey Hilary Court and part of Livingstone Court, in Rowner, Gosport, will be demolished.

Now 127 homes will be built in their place in the final phase of the Rowner Renewal Project.

As reported, the £145m scheme will see 700 homes built in Rowner.

The partnership leading the scheme, formed in 2007, includes First Wessex, Hampshire County Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Gosport Borough Council and Taylor Wimpey.

Hazel Warwick is deputy chief executive at First Wessex and spokeswoman for the partnership.

She said: ‘This will be a significant milestone for the Partnership and for the people of Rowner.

‘First Wessex residents and private home owners in the area will be pleased to see us start on this final phase.’

Next Thursday will see a ceremony with the partnership and civic leaders in the borough.

Former county council leader Ken Thornber is expected to attend, along with ward councillor Tony Jessop.

The regeneration so far has seen hundreds of new homes and a new Tesco constructed.

The work was delayed last year when contractor Opco went bust.

The project, which was given approval in 2009, is due to be completed by 2017.