Falkland Gardens are safe, assures council

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Councillors vote to take a stand on drugs and begging

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CONCERNS over the future of Gosport’s car parking and the Falklands Gardens were raised at the Gosport Borough Council meeting this evening.

The meeting gave councillors the chance to pass comments from themselves and residents in their ward about issues in the recent Supplementary Planning Document, which outlined plans to revitalise Gosport’s waterfront.

A number of councillors were not at the initial meeting where the planning document was discussed, and so used the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Councillor for Bridgemary North Dennis Wright says that his issue lies with the construction of new accommodation on already swelling public car parks, saying that this will make current congestion troubles worse.

He said: ‘If we build houses there will be more complaints from residents, the A32 will be even more congested than it already is.’

Cllr Stephen Philpott, who chairs the Economic Development Board, was quick to assure him that plans are not set in stone.

He said: ‘No decisions have been made and comments from the public will actually shape this SPD going forward - which is why we urge them to engage with the public consultation process.’

Amid concerns over the future of the Falklands Gardens - which many councillors were concerned would be tampered with - Cllr Philpott said: ‘If one was to look at all the documentation and everything that has been said, there has never been any suggestion that we would lose the Falklands Gardens. We would enhance it, which means we look at how they may be able to serve the residents better.

‘There will be no building on the Falklands Gardens.’

However, Alverstoke Councillor Peter Edgar has welcomed the document, and wishes to encourage others to approach it with an open mind.

He explained: ‘I welcome this document. This is the first attempt to restore the real character and history of Gosport. I would fully urge the public to engage with this consultation.’

Also discussed at the meeting was the plan to offer free pest control to low-income households in Gosport.

Cllr Jill Wright believes that the plans are not inclusive enough, targeting only the lowest income households in the area.

She said: ‘The number of people exempted will be higher than the number that fit the list.’

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, says that the current guidelines will be reviewed if necessary.

He explained: ‘We had to look at what we can consider to be those on low incomes. I think we’ve got it right because if we have to put costs then we will have to review it.

‘It is very difficult to determine what level we put this at. If we find out that more people can’t afford to do it, we can and will review it.’