BIG-NAME shops M&S, Lidl and Iceland could soon be opening on former military land in Gosport as part of a major development plan.
The scheme, proposed for Brockhurst Gate opposite Gosport Leisure Centre, will also bring with it Home Bargains, McDonald’s and Costa – as well as new football pitches and changing rooms.
If approved, the site will create 270 jobs and is projected to bring about £12m of extra spending to Gosport.
Tony Sweeney, MD of Millngate, the development company behind the scheme, said: ‘We’ve been working on this site for over seven years and are delighted – subject to winning planning consent – that we will soon be able to deliver a high-quality redevelopment of this vacant site.
‘We have been able to attract some of the biggest and best retail and restaurant names which has also enabled us to include other benefits such as public open space, much-improved views of Fort Brockhurst and an FA-compliant adult football pitch.’
Millngate has rejigged its original plans for the site, to the north of Fort Brockhurst, and is now proposing only retail, scrapping its plans for 100 homes.
A public consultation was held in 2014, and after scores of objections and work with Gosport Borough Council, Millngate revealed its revised plans earlier this week.
An application has not yet been submitted to Gosport Borough Council but is expected before Christmas.
Councillor Stephen Philpott, chairman of the economic development board, said: ‘We are pleased that Millngate has listened and removed any proposals for housing.
‘This area is earmarked in the local plan for job creation and so the news that there could be more than 200 new jobs is to be welcomed.
‘Once a formal proposal has been submitted, we will need to robustly test it by examining closely the traffic impact as well as the effect on other retail operations.
‘The council remains determined to ensure that whenever developers come forward with ideas, the priority will be to maximise job creation to address the chronic shortage of employment within Gosport that forces so many to commute to work.’
If the plans win approval, it could be built and trading before Christmas 2018.