LUXURY homes could be built at a former boatyard which has fallen to rack and ruin.
Yachthaven, off Copse Lane, Northney, Hayling Island, has not been used for boat building since the late 1970s.
It occupies a prime location overlooking Chichester Harbour but the run-down buildings and the industrial waste strewn across the 6.4 hectares make it a grim sight.
And in 2011 a gang was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for turning one of the empty buildings into a cannabis factory.
Now an application has been submitted to Havant Borough Council to build six large detached houses, a 12-berth pontoon, a marine office and a boat storage building with hard standing for six boats.
Under the plans the slipway will be improved and two conservation areas of coastal meadow and conservation grassland would be created adjoining the coastal footpath.
Colin Hunt, chairman of North Hayling Residents’ Association, said the group’s members were cautious about the design of the houses but want to see something done with the site.
He said: ‘It is pretty grim down there.
‘We’ll be very pleased to see something done with it.
‘It is a site that will be developed and a good development with some nice houses there will be good for the village.
‘We try not to be negative but it is important that the design of the houses fits in with the environment.’
The boatyard was built in 1933 and during the Second World War it was used by Vospers for the repair and maintenance of vessels and the building of steel oil refuellers.
The main boat building shed burnt down in the 1970s and was never replaced.
Developer Yachthaven Ltd has dropped plans for a commercial boatyard following concerns from residents that it may cause too much traffic through Northney.
Stuart Bone, director of PWP Architects, agents for the site, said in a statement: ‘The new applicants would like to realise the potential of this previously developed site on the edge of the harbour, that after years of neglect now needs work to bring it back to a pleasant place to live, walk and enjoy.
‘The applicants hope that their submission now achieves the balance required to make the improvements proposed economically viable, to recreate a haven for yachts and to make a positive contribution to the setting of the AONB and Site of Special Scientific Interest.’