WORK will start within just a few months to revamp a Gosport shopping precinct.
Plans were previously approved for 17 flats and two homes at the Carisbrooke Centre, in Carisbrooke Road, with the shop space also being extended.
Developers say they are ‘thrilled’ work will start in summer, with McColls supermarket extended by 53 sqm.
Development firm The Malins Group will also modernise the look of the shops with new cladding, as well as extending the McColls supermarket and providing 34 new parking spaces, totalling 69.
Managing director of The Malins Group Lauren Atkins said: ‘We are thrilled to begin work on this exciting new site, as we see this as a great opportunity to improve the quality of the neighbourhood shopping centre.
‘We hope the refurbishment of the existing neighbourhood centre will make it more attractive to both customers and businesses, and increase long term viability.
‘It will be an important focus for the community for many years to come –both as a local shopping centre – which are too often dying out – and as a place to live and work.’
But concerns have been raised about the ‘over-development’ of the site, fearing ‘lasting damage’ to the precinct.
Ward councillor for Peel Common Stephen Philpott said the businesses in the shopping centre could find themselves struggling as a result of the construction work.
He said: ‘I am disappointed that planning permission has been granted, because I think this is an over-development of the site.
‘The number of homes there is rising dramatically and it is still a very small site.
‘The function of the Carisbrooke Centre isn’t to provide housing, but provide a neighbourhood shopping centre.
‘At the same time there are a couple of shops that will be heavily impacted during the construction work.
‘One of the shops offers quiet rooms for people and another is a music shop, so I am worried about those shops while construction is ongoing.
‘I just hope that once the development has been completed there isn’t lasting damage to the shopping precinct.’
It is expected that construction work will take 18 months to complete.
The housing provision will replace the ten three-bedroom flats with seventeen one-bedroom flats and eight two-bedroom apartments. The two new homes will be located nearby.