A PLANNING application to nearly treble the number of flats in a shopping centre has raised concerns about the viability of the area.
Company Zionstone has submitted a planning application to Gosport Borough Council to change the use of 10 three-bedroom flats at Carisbrooke Road shopping precinct into 27 one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom flat, as well as building two three-bedroom houses.
My principal concern is the long term viability of the shopping centreCllr Stephen Philpott
The plans also include space for increased car parking and to extend the area of the Co-operative supermarket by 53sq m.
There is also a proposal to add an extra storey to the original building.
Councillor Stephen Philpott, who represents the Peel Common ward, has written to local residents and has expressed concerns about the effect the development may have on the shopping centre.
He told The News: ‘My principal concern is the long-term viability of the shopping centre.
‘I have doubts around whether there will be parking for residents who live there, as well as parking for people who work in the shops there.
‘There is housing on this site already but it is a question if 30 homes for the location is appropriate.’
Cllr Philpott added that the council has to meet housing needs and he has no problem if the plan is proved to be appropriate for the area.
Lauren Atkins, managing director of Zionstone, said that the development would give the area a facelift and could cost up to £2m.
She said: ‘We want to improve the quality of the shopping centre that serves the community.
‘After a pre-application, the local planning authority was pleased that we are offering a range of different homes.
‘Parking will be improved, as we plan to create 69 spaces, and have been inclusive with the local community.’
The application has divided opinion with locals.
Lori Emmily Lowe-Crouch, who formerly lived in Carisbrooke Road, said: ‘There isn’t anywhere to put extra spaces without clearing the natural area.
‘It won’t have room with the new homes.
But Sarah Reynolds, of Totland Road, has welcomed the application.
She said: ‘Gosport is in desperate need of more housing and to build on top of the flats already there would be a huge benefit to those in need.’