THOUSANDS of new jobs can be expected for the region after plans for the creation of a huge new business hub were given the green light.
Outline planning permission to provide more than 1m sq ft of business space has been granted for the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent.
Both Fareham and Gosport borough council’s planning chiefs approved the proposals unanimously yesterday.
It is expected to bring around 4,000 jobs to the area, mostly in the marine and aerospace fields.
There will also be more than 200 homes, some shops, allotments and a 34-acre public open space.
Fareham’s planning committee raised concerns about the potential closeness of new hangars to existing homes in Stubbington, and the site of the open space.
But it was able to reach a compromise with the landowner, the Home and Communities Agency (HCA).
Work has already begun on attracting businesses to the site, and creating a new access on Gosport Road, with work on upgrading the airfield expected to begin soon.
Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport council, said: ‘We are talking about creating potentially 4,500 jobs from this particular site.
‘What we are being asked is to kick start the economy again here in Gosport. It’s jobs that are critical.’
Colin Molton, the HCA’s executive director for the south and south west, said: ‘As the organisation responsible for the ownership and management of much of this site, we have an important role to play in delivering the vision for the enterprise zone at Daedalus.
‘But the hard work starts now and we will remain focused on putting in place the foundations that will allow this important regeneration project to progress.’
Ian Lycett, chief executive of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘The Daedalus enterprise zone is a vitally important project for Gosport. Not only will it create thousands of jobs for local people, but it will generate improvements to the surrounding infrastructure which will benefit all residents of the peninsula.’
Peter Grimwood, chief executive of Fareham Borough Council, added: ‘This is an important milestone in the development of Daedalus. We have always taken the view that the future of the site depends on the operation of a viable airfield.’