New houses, a museum and... a gin distillery? Plan to restore old MoD site is given the green light

What the Proof House at Priddy's Hard would look like, with plans to transform it into a distillery. ''Picture: PNBPT
What the Proof House at Priddy's Hard would look like, with plans to transform it into a distillery. ''Picture: PNBPT

Admiral talks about navy

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PLANS for an £11m investment to build 30 houses, an armed forces museum and an alcohol distillery on a historic site have been approved.

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) and Elite Homes aim to transform Priddy’s Hard in Gosport – turning this historic MoD base into a site for modern housing, while restoring the old buildings to provide a new museum and a distillery to produce rum, gin and whisky.

Sold by Gosport Borough Council back in 2009, the site includes an old shell store, shifting house and mines and countermeasures store.

The plans would see the former cookhouse demolished for four three-storey homes, with 17 homes built in the southern demi-bastion.

Three of the 30 homes would also be holiday dwellings.

Peter Goodship, from PNBPT, said: ‘The buildings will look exactly the same as they did in the past – the new homes will look very modern but the historical buildings will be properly restored.

‘We will create 19 permanent jobs, with 70 more jobs during the construction – as well as providing an initial economic impact of more than £6.3m.

‘We’re in this for the long haul – it’s great for Gosport, great for the harbour, and will show that even the most challenging of historical sites can be restored to their former glory.’

Cllr Piers Bateman said: ‘It’s good to see us returning to producing rum, gin and whiskey.

‘This is a once in a generation opportunity to do something positive with a historical site like this.’

Cllr John Beavis MBE said: ‘Here today we have an application that has eight listed buildings that will be saved and introduces a coastal forces museum which is very much a part of our history and will be a great addition to this area.’

Construction work for this first phase is expected to take 18 months, with a second application to be given to the council at a later date.