Plans for microbrewery, restaurant and museum at old Gosport munitions base will go ahead, says council

PROPOSALS to transform an old munitions site into a restaurant, housing and microbrewery have taken a major step forward.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 7:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 11:34 am
The mines and countermines store at Priddy's Hard

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) is working on an £11m redevelopment of Priddy’s Hard in Gosport – using buildings previously intended to store shells, mines and more.

For the development to go ahead, the trust needs is looking for funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

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The shell store at Priddy's Hard

But until last night, a contractual obligation stood in its way as the area has been protected by a restrictive covenant, meaning a charge or mortgage couldn’t be placed on the site.

At a Gosport Borough Council last night, councillors voted unanimously to lift the covenant, subject to funding being secured.

Chairman of the economic development board, Cllr Stephen Philpott, alongside fellow Conservative councillors Philip Raffaelli and Mark Hook, organised an adendum that states the covenant will be lifted after ‘sufficient information to assure the council that the release of funding for the development is imminent.’

Cllr Philpott explained: ‘It’s more of a backstop should the PNBPT not receive their grant money from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

E Magazine, the former gunpowder store at Priddy's Hard

‘We don’t want to release the covenant unecessarily.

‘Clearly, the PNBPT requires the grant to proceeed – I want to do everything I can to facilitate this application being carried out and to do that we would need to agree to life this covenant.’

The site was sold by Gosport Borough Council in 2009 and includes an old shell house, shifting house and coutnermeasures store all dating back to the late 1800s.

In June 2018, the council approved plans for the development, which also features 30 houses.

Proposed CGI of the proof house. Picture: PNBPT

Labour councillor for Town, Cllr June Cully, said: ‘Reading through the case for allowing the building work to proceed, it’s an area that we do want to see developed.

‘We don’t want these buildings to go into further neglect.

‘But I do understand putting that protection on, and so long as we’re doing our best with the area and allowing access that doesn’t do too much damage to the habitat, I do see the benefits of it.’