How Gosport's waterfront could become a '˜world-class' centre for sport sailing

As plans begin to come in for the redevelopment of Gosport's waterfront, The News takes a look at what it could look like once the work has been completed.

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 1:11 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:47 am
Gosport Marina. Picture: Shaun Roster

IN ABOUT a decade or so, Gosport’s waterfront will look completely different from how it does today.

That is the goal of Gosport Borough Council, which is hoping to completely redevelop the town’s waterfront to bring it into the modern age.

The council has opened up most of the waterfront and town centre for redevelopment after publishing the Supplementary Planning Document – outlining areas of the town for developers to build on.

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Picture: Shaun Roster

This was published after a public consultation last year, asking the public what improvements they would like to see in the town.

There are three key areas

Three key areas of the waterfront have been earmarked for redevelopment; Haslar Marina, Gosport Bus Station and Royal Clarence Yard.

Plans are already in motion for the redevelopment of Haslar Marina.

Gosport Bus Depot

A £5m redevelopment by Dean and Reddyhoff would see the marina extended to house more boats, as well as a new powerboat centre and a permanent home for Alex Thomson Racing.

This is a scheme that has been backed by numerous marina businesses, saying it would be of huge benefit to the town’s boating industry and culture.

Peter Cardy, director of Gosport Marine Scene, says that the plans are ‘inspired’.

He said: ‘The plans for the marina include many of the things we have been needing for some time.

‘More people will be able to have boats docked here and businesses will really be able to thrive.

‘It will be great to have Alex Thomson Racing here in Gosport – as well as promote the growth of other marine businesses in the town.

‘They could have taken the easy route of building flats on the marina, but have instead chosen to support the marine industry; that is exactly what this place needs.

‘This development is a huge vote of confidence in Gosport’s marine industry.

‘My hope now is that the rest of the waterfront will be developed to a similar extent.’

Haslar Sea School

One of the businesses that would be affected by the development is Haslar Sea School.

The school provides personal training services for sailing, power boating and more.

Helen Appleby from Haslar Sea School said: ‘When the plans were announced we were really excited.

‘The scheme will allow the marina to develop and grow, which is good for everyone in the area.

‘I think it would look superb and would have a huge impact on marine businesses in Gosport.

‘We would hope that the scheme would allow all marine businesses to expand and grow – when something like this happens it generates a lot of interest from people and becomes the new place for boating enthusiasts to go.

‘Boating is already a fairly accessible thing to get into, but this would make it even easier – so it would have a real impact for us.’

The bus station

The redevelopment of Gosport Bus Station is something that has been in the pipeline for many years.

The council is planning for a ‘landmark building’ to be built to create a gateway to the town.

It is hoped by the council that a developer will come forward with an imaginative, high-quality development to replace the outdated bus station.

Leader of Gopsort Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘I want the bus station to be a destination for people to go during the day and in the evening.

‘The design of this site has to be iconic – that is very important to us.

‘We want people to point to where the bus station is from the Spinnaker Tower, and compliment what there is across the harbour from us.

‘There will be some residential areas to pay for this scheme, but I am very optimistic about it.

‘We want these businesses to thrive’

Royal Clarence Yard has also been earmarked for development.

Although some of the land is currently under MoD ownership, Cllr Hook believes that business in the area can thrive.

He said: ‘The Supplementary Planning Document is a list of our aspirations, and what we want to achieve in the borough.

‘We want these businesses to thrive – and for that to work we need to be able to work closely with everyone who is already there.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘I am keen to see sites such as the waterfront and remaining section of Royal Clarence Yard, if released by the MoD, redeveloped in a way which will maximise local economic benefits, creating jobs and prosperity.’