KEEN gardeners in Gosport will soon be getting their own garden centre in the town, it has been confirmed.
Plans are in motion for a garden centre to be built on land at Grange Farm in Rowner, near the 17th Century Village.
The 5.7 acre site should be completed by February 2021, featuring a cafe, toilets and additional parking – which can also be used for Alver Valley Country Park.
Construction work is due to start in March 2020; an operator has been found but has not yet signed the lease.
At Gosport Borough Council's economic development board meeting on Wednesday, September 18, councillors voiced their delight at this addition to the town.
Currently, the closest garden centres to Gosport are Stewarts Abbey Garden Centre in Catisfield, and Garsons in Titchfield.
Conservative ward councillor for Hardway, Cllr Diane Furlong, said: ‘This is something that’s very close to my heart.
‘It will benefit a lot of people in Gosport because they won’t have to go out of town, and it’s nice to be able to get there by bus.’
Labour councillor for Town ward, Cllr June Cully, added: ‘I think this is a great use of the site.
‘I’m delighted to have this facility for residents of Gosport – with the annual Gosport In Bloom competition I’m sure a lot of our local gardeners will be cheering about this as well.’
Chairman of the community board, Cllr Graham Burgess, added that the garden centre will be ‘a welcome addition’ to the town.
The land for the garden centre is round the back of Howe Road, but construction traffic will not be allowed to use Little Woodham Lane.
Under the lease agreement, the operator will pay Gosport Borough Council £10,000 a year in rent, with rent reviews every five years.
Chairman of the economic development board, Cllr Stephen Philpott, says the scheme has been in the works for a number of years.
He said: ‘A lot of work has gone into getting us to this point.
‘It has taken quite a long time to get here but this is great news for the town.’