Number of homes in Rowner Renewal cut by developers

PLANS An artists impression of the Rowner Renewal housing
PLANS An artists impression of the Rowner Renewal housing

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THE number of homes to be built in the Rowner Renewal project has been cut.

The partnership behind the scheme had planned to build 700 homes in the multi-million pound project, now due to finish in 2018.

But that has dropped to 620, although housing association First Wessex said there will still be 259 affordable homes.

The original plans provided for 259 affordable homes, which would have been 37 per cent of the total homes built.

This figure was below Gosport Borough Council’s requirement that any development with more than 10 homes must have 40 per cent affordable homes.

It was agreed with the council the project would only have to hit 37 per cent.

Now, with the total number of homes reduced, the project will have 42 per cent affordable homes.

The project will demolish 507 old homes in total.

Councillor Mark Hook is the leader of Gosport Borough Council.

He said: ‘Overall, there is an increase in housing that has been replaced.

‘We do need more homes, and more affordable ones.

‘I’m delighted the numbers of affordable housing has stayed the same.’

Cllr Peter Chegwyn is the Liberal Democrat opposition leader at the council.

He said: ‘I’m surprised they’re building less overall.

‘In time they may well come back and try to build more.

‘It may well mean the houses they’re still building, excluding the affordable homes, will be more expensive.

‘The price will rise because there will be more people chasing each house.’

As previously reported, construction work has been delayed by nine months after contractor Opco went bust earlier in the year.

Hazel Warwick is the asset management director at First Wessex.

She said detailed planning applications for each phase had seen the number of homes reduce.

‘The initial consent in 2009 gained outline approval for the comprehensive regeneration of Rowner including up to a maximum of 700 units of accommodation.

‘As the project has progressed through the design process, detailed planning applications have been submitted for each phase.’

The project partnership is made up of Gosport’s council, Hampshire County Council, First Wessex, Taylor Wimpey and the Homes and Communities Agency.