IT WAS meant to go to a public consultation – but councillors have voted to bypass that to preserve the future of an historic site in Gosport.
Gosport Borough councillors approved the plan to create a conservation area around the Haslar Barracks.
The barracks, being sold by the Ministry of Justice, is a complex dating back to the Napoleonic Wars.
Under the conservation area, the buildings will be preserved, and protected from demolition and redevelopment.
The initial plan was to launch a consultation period.
A consultation will still be launched, but it will gather more information on the site from residents in the borough.
The proposal was unanimously approved by council members, having been put forward by Cllr Philip Raffaelli and seconded by Cllr Graham Burgess.
Cllr Raffaelli said: ‘I think the people of Gosport would be horrified if we were to lose this site.’
Cllr Stephen Philpott, head of the economic development board, said: ‘What we have is a unique set of buildings and frankly it would be a travesty, almost a crime, to see those buildings smashed up.
‘While it might perhaps be of some desire or benefit to a future developer, it is not in the best interests of the people in this borough to see something so historic destroyed.
‘My feeling was that all we would do is learn more from the consultation, look at the feedback and I would have expected that the proposal would have been approved anyway.
‘We have sufficient tools at this time to proceed along those lines.’
Cllr June Cully said: ‘We do want to engage with the public because there is a vast amount of knowledge out there, but I want to make sure the site is safe.
The consultation will be launched on Monday, November 20.