'Iconic' building set for Gosport bus station as council announces site is up for sale for development
SHOPS and restaurants could be built on the site of Gosport's 'garbage' bus station if it is snapped up by developers.
Gosport Borough Council has revealed it is now inviting developers to put in offers to buy the site.
It comes as the authority has already secured cash for a new transport hub, set to be built nearby - paving the way for the bus station's demolition.
Originally built in the 1970s, the bus station was described in 2012 as ‘knackered’ by the council's then-chief executive when an original investment plan setting out development hopes was drawn up.
Councillors and residents have welcomed the recent progress, with the site now on the market.
Peter Chegwyn is the Liberal Democrat opposition leader at Gosport's council.
He said: 'At long last, it looks like it might be happening because we’ve got the county council involved and we’ve got some government money.
'I want to see an attractive development that brings people into town with bistros, wine bars and restaurants as it’s got a lovely view over the harbour.
'It needs to be part of a wider plan to regenerate the high street, bring life back into our town centre.'
He added: 'It’s time to get on and actually do something.
'The time for talking is over. We need to get on, agree to plans and we should consult the public because I think there is support for a development that opens up the waterfront.'
Cllr Graham Burgess, leader of the council, hopes developers will come forward with an 'iconic' proposal.
He said: 'The old bus station is past its sell-by date. We have a new transport interchange and planning permission applications should be in very shortly.
'By inviting developers to purchase the site and begin shaping their ideas now, we will be in a strong position to begin redeveloping this area for the community once the new interchange opens.
'We’re hoping to start construction (of the interchange) early next year. Once that’s finished the buses will move to the new interchange and we can start demolishing that garbage site of a bus station.
'We will market the bus station site and go for building houses, shops, facilities and hopefully restaurants.
'It should hopefully be an iconic building because it's a real prime site on the waterfront.
'There is a real opportunity to create a new gateway to the town with facilities and amenities that benefit residents and visitors.
Toby Paine is the Local Democracy Reporter for Gosport. Contact him at [email protected]