Council homes plan at site of old bungalows

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SMALL council houses are being planned in Gosport for the first time in around three decades.

Existing council bungalows in St Vincent Road, in Forton, Gosport, will be demolished with the two-bedroom houses built.

No permission has yet been sought and plans are in early stages, with no number of homes or the cost of the project yet fixed.

Deputy leader of the council, Tory Cllr Graham Burgess, said the homes will address the demand for smaller properties.

He said: ‘We are looking at trying to sort the finances out to build our own council houses in the next year.

‘They will be two-bedroom properties, because that is what we have the most need for here.

‘We want to use the most modern techniques in the sense of the build, insulation, solar panels and things likes that.

‘We’ve got to look at the full options for the site, the full size of the site – can we make anything bigger? – so we can get an adequate number on there and make it viable.’

He added the last council homes to be built were in Holbrook, Gosport, in the 1980s.

People living in smaller homes than they are deemed to need must now pay for spare rooms under the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

But Cllr Burgess said the vast majority of the 200 people with one-bedroom properties and the 120 with two in Gosport had not moved and took the cut in benefit.

Labour’s Cllr Keith Farr, member for Forton ward, said he was delighted about the plans and that the homes may help people who pay the bedroom tax.

He said: ‘It’s something needed in the area, we’re short as it is.

‘At least it’s filling that area up – it will give them a chance to move from one to two or downsize from three to two, with bedroom tax going on at the moment.’

The bungalows have been empty for around a year after some tenants were moved out and others did not have their leases renewed.