COUNCILLORS have reluctantly approved a car parking plan in the hope it will kick-start development at Royal Clarence Yard.
Gosport Borough Council approved the management plan by Berkeley Homes for the site, off Weevil Lane.
The councillors acknowledge that there’s quite a lot of things that are wrong with the plan.Philippa Dickinson
But more than 50 objection letters were submitted by residents of the site who say improvements such as better signs, more lights and more cycling spaces should be included.
The council’s regulatory board unanimously agreed to approve the plan, even though members admitted it was flawed.
It is the first step of the development of the Royal Clarence Yard, where Berkeley Homes wants to build restaurants, bars and houses.
In 2005, when the application was approved by an independent government inspector following an appeal, a condition was made that a car park management plan needed to be in place before any buildings could be built.
Cllr Mark Hook said at the meeting: ‘We are in a quandary with this application.
‘We’re trying to sort out the mess the inspector made when approving the plan for Royal Clarence Yard in 2005.
‘There are too many issues with the car parking plan.
‘We picked up on the cycling spaces, but they say its nothing to do with this plan.
‘There are issues with the ceremonial arch, which is a magnificent structure.
‘And the car parks are never full. But I will be supporting this plan even though I know it isn’t perfect.’
As well as an extra 95 spaces, the application will open the Flagstaff Green Ceremonial Gate to traffic and put up bollards between Flagstaff House and Block C1/C2.
Philippa Dickinson spoke on behalf of residents at the meeting.
She said: ‘The councillors acknowledged that there are quite a lot of things that are wrong with the plan.
‘But given they can only approve or refuse it, they decided to approve it because once the issues are sorted, they think it would be good for the area.’
A spokesman from Berkeley Homes said: ‘The management plan has been the topic of many discussions between Berkeley and the residents at Royal Clarence Marina.
‘It was therefore very pleasing that a suitable solution was found and approved by the council.
‘We appreciate the support of both residents and the council in reaching this outcome.’