A MUDDY field will have a new pathway and cycle lane built after a land deal was agreed.
Gosport Borough Council agreed the deal with packaging company Huhtamaki, which has plans to expand one of its sites in the town.
The paths are very muddy at times and a new cycle way and footpath will make a huge difference.Councillor Maggie Morgan
The council’s economic development board agreed to lease land near the leisure centre for Huhtamaki to expand on to, and in exchange the firm will transfer some land it owns to the council so the footpath can be built.
The wooded area at the back of the factory on Grange Road gets muddy during the autumn and winter. But it is still used regularly by pedestrians, cyclists and students from Brune Park School.
With the land now belonging to the council, it can provide suitable path.
The rest of the site is protected as open space in the Gosport Local Plan.
The council’s land, which has nothing on it, is currently let to the leisure centre for £105,000 a year. Huhtamaki will pay the same annual fee.
Councillor Maggie Morgan, who represents Grange ward, said: ‘I’m extremely delighted with the proposals as I’ve been pressing the council for some time to try to resolve this issue.
‘The paths are muddy at times and a new cycle way and footpath will make a huge difference. The council can now manage the area of woodland to make it a pleasant area for residents.’
At the meeting, councillors raised questions if the deal had the best value for the council in relation to the rent that would be received.
As previously reported in The News Huhtamaki wants to develop the Holbrook site, which will create new jobs and will secure the firm’s future in Gosport.
Rosemary Mason, managing director, said the development will include new production areas, a warehouse and offices built alongside existing facilities.
Leader of Gosport council Mark Hook said: ‘I was very pleased when Huhtamaki indicated they were looking to expand in Gosport.
‘They are an excellent employer and I am glad we were able to help them.’