Coldeast manor restoration is guaranteed

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THE restoration of a historic mansion has been guaranteed after a government agency provided more than a million pounds.

The manor house on the site of the old Coldeast Hospital at Sarisbury Green is part of an agreement to redevelop the grounds.

Hotel chain Sanguine Hospitality was meant to restore the manor house for use as a wedding venue and hotel, but has recently pulled out of the deal, leaving the future of the historic building in the balance.

Sanguine Hospitality blamed the lack of emphasis on keeping the building in good repair for its withdrawal.

To stop the building from going into further decay and to ensure other redevelopment plans for the land can continue, including the building of 168 houses, the Homes and Community Agency has agreed to pay a seven-figure sum to Fareham Borough Council to bridge the gap.

If an alternative developer is not found within two years, the money will be used on restoring the outside of the house to make it more attractive to investors.

This guarantees the work in a similar way to how Cams Hall was restored.

As this was part of a planning agreement which was passed in October, the changes went before Fareham Borough Council yesterday for approval.

On the planning committee, Sarisbury ward councillor David Swanbrow said: ‘It is a great shame that we gave permission some time ago for the developer to restore this building and they have let it go to rack and ruin.

‘It is dreadful what they have done.’

Cllr Keith Evans said: ‘It is unfortunate that no-one seems to want to restore it.

‘This gives us breathing space to keep the building going.

‘This will make it much more attractive to potential investors.’

Work is under way on the site to restore the stable yard.

When finished, the site will provide a mix of housing and community space, including a cemetery.