Haslar plans due to be finished in weeks after delay

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DEVELOPERS behind plans to build at Haslar Hospital have asked for more time to work on the £100m scheme.

Our Enterprise Haslar has asked Gosport’s planners to put off deciding its application until the end of June.

The firm has been adding detail to its plans since they were first submitted in 2012.

Council leader Mark Hook had concerns about the site being too crammed in and about plans to demolish wards. Under new plans, two are being kept.

Cllr Hook said: ‘We’ve got to make sure that what we put back on the site is what the public wants to see.

‘What we’re building there is a new community, a community that will be open to the public.

‘That’s why it’s taken use longer then people anticipated.’

As reported, the multi-million pound scheme is due to create 500 jobs.

A 60-bed care home, 316 homes, 214 retirement units, a health centre, restaurant and bar, are all due to be installed in new and existing buildings on the 63-acre site.

Our Enterprise asked for the extension, the second so far, but said in its March 21 letter that it hopes to finish the plans in ‘weeks’.

But conservation groups Gosport Society and Haslar Heritage Group have raised concerns over the proposed use of Erroll Hall as a bistro or restaurant.

Gosport Society’s May Bumford said a Victorian pathology lab, now earmarked for use as the community hall, would be better for a restaurant.

She said: ‘Erroll Hall, which we believe was originally built for recreational use in 1913, would be ideal as a community centre.’

And Eric Birbeck, from Haslar Heritage, said the retention of ward buildings would turn the site into a ‘mongrel mix’.

He wrote: ‘The decision to retain these two blocks is likely to mean a mongrel mix of buildings when viewed from seaward.

‘This is disappointing particularly as pavilion-style wards of this type and era, in good condition, exist elsewhere.’

But Mr Birbeck added: ‘We welcome Our Enterprise Haslar’s vision and plans. We fully support the vision for a new care, retirement, residential and business community.’

Nearby residents have written to support the plans but some have raised concerns about traffic during construction work.

Haslar Immigration Removal Centre staff have voiced concerns over two buildings being too close.

Patricia Trasler, of Eastcroft Road, in Brockhurst, wrote: ‘Once the development is complete I’m sure the amount of traffic will not reach the levels seen when Haslar was a busy hospital.’

The former Royal Haslar Hospital was sold in 2009 for £3m after opening in 1741.

A huge campaign ran to save it before it shut.