THE demolition of flats mark a new beginning for Rowner.
That is the view of Grange ward councillor Tony Jessop who sees the end of the high-rise block as a new start for the area.
The derelict flats, off Nimrod Drive, will be replaced by 127 homes as part of the Rowner Regeneration which also saw the opening of the new Tesco superstore off Grange Road.
Cllr Jessop said: ‘We are now coming to the end of the Rowner Regeneration and it marks a new beginning.
‘It is like a phoenix from the fire.
‘Rowner is totally a new area now. There are still people there who have lived there all their life but there’s also new life coming to the area. There are a lot of positives for the future and it is exciting times for the whole of Gosport.’
The flats started to be demolished in October and Cllr Jessop added some people will be sad to see them go.
‘There are a lot of happy memories in those flats,’ he said.
‘So although most people are happy to see them go, people who lived there for many years will be sad because they hold a lot of memories.
‘My wife and I lived there ourselves for 17 years and saw some good and bad times.’
The site will be totally cleared by March with demolition company Hughes and Salvidge on schedule with the works.
Hazel Warwick is spokeswoman for the Rowner Partnership whose members include First Wessex, Gosport Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Homes and Communities Agency and Taylor Wimpey.
She said: ‘The demolition of this final block is a significant landmark for both the Partnership and the people of Rowner. It marks the end of the old Rowner.
‘The Partnership is extremely proud of the regeneration work completed so far.
‘We are excited to start the final phase of the development and complete the transformation for a new era of Rowner.’
Rowner’s regeneration has four phases and has already spanned eight years. The first three phases will, when completed, deliver 495 new homes along with the new Tesco store, Jaffer’s pharmacy, Costa and Subway outlets.