Dismay as work to regenerate Gosport estate hits long delays

NEW LOOK Redevelopment work at Rowner has been delayed
NEW LOOK Redevelopment work at Rowner has been delayed

MP quizzes minister on Carillion fallout

Have your say

A HUGE multi-million pound scheme to regenerate an estate in Gosport has stalled after a contractor went bust.

Work to build 101 homes as part of the Rowner Renewal Project is now due to finish in September 2014 – nine months later than planned.

Developer Taylor Wimpey hopes construction will begin again at the end of the month.

It comes after contractor Opco went into administration in June.

The firm was responsible for building the homes, which are the second phase of the 500 home eight-year scheme.

Jim Stallard, a trustee of the Rowner Community Trust, said: ‘As a resident, it has taken a bit of a knock on everything.

‘People have been asking what the situation is.

‘We are very optimistic, a lot of people are saying they’re looking forward to it being finished.’

Work started in 2009 and is broken into five phases.

The first phase consisted of 219 homes.

As previously reported, a Tesco superstore and three retail units were completed as part of the now-stalled second phase.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, councillor Mark Hook, said the huge project was planned back in 2004.

He said: ‘When you get something of this scale, problems like this occur.

‘The important thing is Taylor Wimpey has grasped the nettle and solved the problem.

‘They’ve had to talk a lot of subcontractors and sort it out, and the good news is it’s moving on in the next couple of weeks, it may even be sooner.

‘It is regrettable but more so for the people affected by it, the subcontractors and the workers.’

A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: ‘Opco were only contracted to work on phase two so there has been no impact on phase or any other phases of development at Rowner.

‘Phase three consists of 175 residential properties and is anticipated to take about three and a half years to complete, following which we will begin work on Phase 4.’

Opco did not respond to enquiries from The News.

The project is run by a partnership of First Wessex Housing Group, Gosport council, Hampshire County Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, and Taylor Wimpey.