Homes with royal claim to fame are officially finished

RENOVATION Steve Cripps at Gosport Railway Station which has reached completion.    Picture: Steve Reid (110287-422)
RENOVATION Steve Cripps at Gosport Railway Station which has reached completion. Picture: Steve Reid (110287-422)
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A PROJECT to transform an old train station that was visited by Queen Victoria has officially been completed.

The site that was Gosport Railway Station has been transformed into 35 affordable flats and houses, while the original entrance to the station in Spring Garden Lane has been preserved.

Queen Victoria used to pass through the train station on her way to the Isle of Wight.

And her coffin was carried through the station on the way to London Waterloo in 1901.

The development was carried out by the Guinness Hermitage Housing Association and was a scheme aimed at providing more affordable housing for local people.

Residents from the housing association began to move into the properties last summer but the development was only officially completed last week.

The project, which took 18 months, has also seen the track where the trains used to pass through preserved, with the original height of the old platforms remaining in place.

Steve Cripps, projects manager for PMC Construction, which built the site on behalf of Guinness Hermitage, said: ‘It has really put new life into the area.

‘It had been left rotting away for many years.

‘Various people had looked to develop the site but nobody had the foresight to move that forward.

‘It’s providing good quality affordable homes for people who would otherwise be on the housing list.’

Mr Cripps said tenants who have grown up in Gosport have taken a particular interest in the historical element of the site.

‘Some people who have got local history all love the aspect of being in buildings that once were used by Queen Victoria, but others have no local knowledge of it,’ he said.

‘The local people that have been brought up in Gosport have got a lot more interest in the scheme than the people that have come here later in life.

‘It’s great, it’s been a joy to work on.

‘It’s another piece of historic Gosport that has come back to life.’

The station opened in 1842 with the last passenger train leaving in 1953.

It was closed to freight in 1969.