GOSPORT will be keeping its police station after years of closure due to austerity measures and discussions about private development; with the decision taken by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Donna Jones after a long-running campaign by townspeople and Gosport Borough Councillors concerned about the deterioration in policing cover.
Greeting the announcement made on Thursday (April 14), Councillor Leslie Meenaghan (Conservative, Town), herself a former police sergeant across the borough, commented: “I am so pleased about the decision to retain Gosport Police Station within Hampshire Police estates. I have been speaking to Donna since she was elected, sharing the concerns of local residents of the lack of a police building and the frustrations around accessing police locally.”
Earlier the PCC revealed that Gosport Police Station had won a reprieve five years after it was due to close; confirming that a sale had been previously agreed but that offer had expired, hence the u-turn. Mrs Jones said: “I have taken a pause, reviewed the contract and ended the agreement.
“I am not now planning to sell Gosport Police Station so that will remain in the police estate and I am considering other options for that.” She further added it could be used to “support new recruits” but a more detailed plan would be revealed at a later date.
In an article published last summer available here Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas had revealed how, four years after it closed, a formal decision on plans for redevelopment of the South Street site was expected that autumn.
JP Developments proposed to demolish the existing building and replace it with 88 affordable one, two and three-bedroom flats plus a flexible commercial space.
The planning application was submitted at the end of July 2019 and Jim Bevan of Savills admitted at the time it had been a complex process which involved amending the original plans “in the light of comments from the council, consultees and the public”.
Concerns included uncertainty over parking for residents’ vehicles, although the developers argued that many fewer spaces were required for a development of affordable flats in a town centre location with easy access to amenities and public transport, and having nearby car parks for visitors.