New flats to be built on old Fareham hospital site

REBUILDING The main entrance to St Christopher's Hospital in Fareham.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves
REBUILDING The main entrance to St Christopher's Hospital in Fareham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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PLANS to convert an old hospital into homes have been approved by councillors, despite opposition from neighbours.

Taylor Wimpey originally submitted plans to build 37 homes on the former St Christopher’s Hospital site to Fareham Borough Council in August last year.

But councillors deferred the application because residents expressed concerns about the height of the proposed building and how it could intrude on their privacy.

Now, councillors have approved the amended plans which have reduced the height of the building in Wickham Road.

The former entrance of the hospital will be retained.

Gerard Pratt, 56, of St Sebastian Crescent, spoke on behalf of a group of residents in the area.

He said: ‘Going up the Wickham Road, do we really want to see a massive building like that?

‘What’s the point in keeping the hospital entrance if we have a building like that? We aren’t against development, we just want it to be right for Fareham because it’s going to be there for a very, very long time.’

Eleven letters were received by the council objecting to the plans.

But Andrew Barron, of Taylor Wimpey, said: ‘We have taken on board the comments made by members. It’s more representative of the scale and height of the former hospital building that sat in this location.’

Councillor Paul Whittle said: ‘This is a tremendously important site. I’m appreciative that the applicant has been considerate about the concerns raised by residents.’

Councillor David Swanbrow, added: ‘I have been very much against this proposal because of the building on the corner. Having seen the decisions that have been made which I think are quite significant, I am reasonably happy with this now.’

Councillors gave the go-ahead for the plans, provided a brick wall is put in to separate the building from existing homes.