Neighbours vow to battle plan to build Gosport house until the very end

A computer-generated image of how the former munition store in Britannia Way in Gosport would look
A computer-generated image of how the former munition store in Britannia Way in Gosport would look
  • Neighbours are determined to stop development on cordite magazine site
  • Developer said Gosport’s Local Plan was ‘unsound’ for listing site as open space
  • Planning application for Grand Design-style house was refused due to conservation reasons
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NEIGHBOURS have vowed to battle every step of the way against a development.

People living next to the cordite magazine site, off Britannia Way, in Gosport, are frustrated that owner of the land Alan Dawes is still trying to build a house there.

Mr Dawes had his planning application for the Grand Designs-style home rejected by Gosport Borough Council and he also lost the appeal.

But just weeks after the appeal failed, he spoke out at the Local Plan meeting criticising the council and saying their plan was ‘unsound’ for listing the site as open space.

Residents living on Britannia Way say they are determined to stop the development.

John Hudson said: ‘We are determined to fight the battle required to stop this development.

‘We will continue to fight to ensure he is unable to develop the site in the way he wishes.

‘The main reason we are against the plans is for the protection of the wildlife.

‘He is creating mayhem in the local area by trying all possible means to find a way to develop the site.’

Gosport Borough Council has earmarked the site as open space in its Local Plan for nature conservation reasons. The site is home to Great Crested Newts and badgers and there are fears any construction could destroy their habitat.

Jeanette Perry, who runs the group A Voice for Gosport, said the home was never wanted.

‘The wildlife is in danger if this house goes forward,’ she said.

‘The developer is using the Local Plan as his final shot to build this development.’

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of the council, said Mr Dawes is within his legal rights to try and get the house but the defences to refuse it are robust.

He said: ‘I don’t think there is any merit in his cause to get the house built. I think the defences are robust.

‘As a developer, all he wants to do is make money and there are plenty of other sites where he can make money. But this is not one of them.’

During the Local Plan meeting, which was led by independent inspector John Wilde, Mr Dawes said his development will protect historical buildings on the site.

He said: ‘No other plans look to protect those historical buildings but mine does.

‘They have been left in disrepair and in the council’s Local Plan, it doesn’t mention the buildings.

‘That is why it is unsound. Children are breaking into the site and it is a big health and safety problem.

Mr Dawes added that the wildlife would not be affected as much as people think.

‘Badgers and newts wander around the site into the gardens of people living nearby,’ he said.

‘I don’t know why that is any different to them wandering around the development I want to build.

‘We can have both the natural habitat and a new property.’