Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 16:16 UK

Estate set for 140m regeneration

Rowner master plan
The Rowner master plan shows the proposed regeneration area layout

Up to 700 homes could be built on a Hampshire estate which was once named one of the worst in the country.

Developers have unveiled plans for a 140m regeneration of the Rowner area of Gosport.

The plans, which include a centre piece 10-storey apartment tower, are the culmination of eight months of public consultation work.

A planning application is expected to be submitted this summer and work could start in the Spring of 2009.

The estate was built by the Ministry of Defence for Navy personnel and their families in the 1960s.

But it was sold off to private hands and it has suffered from a lack of investment. Lifts in the central precinct apartment block have not worked for seven years.

Rowner precinct remains in the top 20% most deprived areas in England and its precinct was nominated as one of the worst buildings in Britain on Channel 4's Demolition programme in 2006.

A partnership - comprising Gosport Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth Housing Association, Taylor Wimpey UK and English Partnerships - is funding the project, at least 30% of which would be so-called "affordable" housing.

Rowner
The central Rowner precinct has become run down in recent years

Hazel Warwick, group regeneration director for Portsmouth Housing Association, said: "We have received enormous support from many Rowner residents and community groups here.

"Rowner will be a safer, more attractive environment and will be better suited to the needs of all sections of the community."

Compulsory purchase orders could be used to clear the way for the redevelopment.

But the partnership insisted that would be a last resort and there has been one-to-one negotiations between home owners and the developers.

While some homeowners have already moved out, there has been some opposition to the plans from people concerned that the price they receive for their home would not be enough to buy a property elsewhere or on the redeveloped site.

Councillor Kim West, of Gosport Borough Council, said she liked the plans, adding: "It [the redevelopment] needs to be done.

"But, I am a bit concerned that people would have trouble financially."




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