Redevelopment bid after Boathouse bistro closes

By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas

PATRONS are no longer able to enjoy a coffee or a meal at a popular Boathouse café/restaurant in Gosport after the contractor closed it down having been given six months’ notice to leave.

And it is not the only Gosport waterfront restaurant to close recently – as reported in The Globe Trinity’s at the Lighthouse in Haslar Marina has also shut its doors though for different reasons.

The Boathouse was in Gosport Marina and the owner of the building – Premier Marinas Limited which is itself owned by the Wellcome Trust – has submitted a planning application that includes demolishing the single storey structure.

Boathouse ‘regretfully closed’

When Anne ‘Annie’ Kettle who ran The Boathouse announced the closure after 11 years of trading, she expressed her regret at having to make the decision and thanked all concerned for their custom and support.

Talking to The Globe she repeated her thanks especially for the fantastic, “outpouring of all the good nature on Facebook”.

Annie added: “The marina gave me six months’ notice because of the redevelopment and the thought of doing six months in winter was too much – I make all the money in the summer.

“Not that I could sell, because of the planned redevelopment.”

This came on the back of the closures due to lockdowns during which what she called, “the amazing staff” were paid full wages and Annie is pleased they have found other jobs.

Premier Marinas ‘disappointed’

A spokesperson for Premier Marinas informed The Globe: “Having worked with Annie for many years we were very disappointed that she decided to close the Boathouse at Gosport Marina.

“Whilst we supported all of our hospitality tenants through the Covid-19 pandemic, it is our understanding is that this was a significant factor in the decision to close.

“The existing Boathouse is a temporary structure that is now showing its age and it is our aim, subject to planning, to replace it with a much better and permanent building.

“Our expectation had been that we would continue to work with Annie through and post the replacement of the Boathouse building.  We parted company with Annie on very good terms as is evident in her social media post.”

Anne Kettle is now considering her future but, “will let the dust settle”, before making any decisions.

Proposed redevelopment of  marina car park area

Meanwhile, Premier Marinas’ planning application will be considered at the next meeting of Gosport Borough Council’s Regulatory Board on Tuesday – November 2.

As well as the demolition of the Boathouse and the erection of a Marina Facilities Building that incorporates a 150-plus seater restaurant and bar, the proposed redevelopment of Gosport Marina’s land area will see the current STS Defence building extended and the relocation of the dry stack.

The latter is to make room for 70 flats to be built on the site along Harbour Road and Mumby Road though the application for this development is for what is termed ‘outline’ planning permission and will require a more detailed planning application at a later date.

The borough council’s planning applications web pages (reference: 20/00473) indicates that it is a contentious application with objections from residents of nearby Viewpoint in Harbour Road, The Quarterdeck, Mumby Road, and Rope Quays.

In the most recent planning statement from Premier Marinas and its agent CBRE – a US-based real estate company – one of the visions of the redevelopment is to, “achieve a balance of uses that will create a high-quality ‘place’ with its own identity. The proposal will deliver new jobs, tourism opportunities and leisure facilities, and much needed new homes to be enjoyed by the wider community.”

‘Enough land available to put it a sensible distance away’

However, The Quarterdeck Gosport Limited has expressed concerns about the proximity of the Marina Facilities Building to the residents of the waterside flats.

The chair of TQGL board of directors, Peter Cardy, told The Globe: “Putting a building three storeys high right next to the living and bedroom windows of the people living in The Quarterdeck flats is really objectionable.

“It will mean gross overlooking and the end of privacy, extra noise and traffic – and it isn’t necessary. There is enough land available in the marina to put it a sensible distance away and still have all the improvements to the facilities and splendid views of the harbour.

“Gosport Borough Council’s design guidance, published in 2014, calls for much wider separation and for very good reasons. It would be strange for the council to approve something that completely overturns its published intentions.”

Letters of objection submitted by Viewpoint residents cite overshadowing and increased traffic congestion as their concerns about the proposed construction of 70 flats close to their homes.

The agenda and accompanying documentation for Tuesday’s Regulatory Board are available HERE.

Photo (top): The Boathouse in Gosport Marina now closed