THE council in Gosport has given a green light to a new development with the aim of keeping a shopping precinct alive.
Approval was given for the construction of 27 new homes in a refurbishment of the Carisbrooke Centre.
The homes will consist of 17 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom flats, as well as two semi-detached three-bedroom houses.
The shop will also see an extension of 53 square metres.
This was the second time that the application had gone before the council, with the previous proposal in October rejected by councillors.
Managing director of The Malins Group, Lauren Atkins, is behind the development.
She said: ‘I think this is really great news.
‘We have spent a good 18 months planning the development and have seen a lot of support from residents in the area, so I am very pleased that we have been given the go-ahead.’
The goal of the development is not only to provide new homes, but also to keep the Carisbrooke Centre itself in operation.
Lauren Atkins said: ‘The main objective is to build new homes but to also to ensure that the local shopping centre stays available for the future – we needed to invest for that to happen.
‘Far too often these days you see many community shopping precincts that are disappearing, because there isn’t enough support to keep them afloat.
‘This development is a direct answer to that and so I am really pleased that it will be going ahead, while also boosting housing in the area with a mix of different properties.’
According to The Malins Group, the construction will be commencing as soon as possible.
Ms Atkins said: ‘We have got a lot of preparation work to do first – the main priority is to make sure that everything is ready before we proceed with the construction.
‘We will make sure that the shops in the Carisbrooke Centre remain open throughout the development – that is something that remains crucial to us.
‘As soon as the construction plan is ready, we will get on with the development.
‘This scheme is going to provide a lot of much-needed housing in the area, so I am glad that it will be going ahead.’
Once it is underway, the construction phase of the development is expected to last 18 months.