A MULTI-MILLION pound project to transform a Hampshire town is now on the cards following a major investment.

Gosport Borough Council is to put £8.4 million into the project as part of its new capital funding programme debated by councillors last night.

The funding will bring forward the regeneration scheme which will see the creation of hundreds of new homes, retail units, and open space and bring new investors to the table. 

Alongside this, the money will also help to build housing and flood defences.  

Included in the plans are a revamp of the waterfront to attract new businesses from the marine sector, along with restaurants and bars at the old bus station to create a cultural quarter.

Haslar Marina will also see more employment and leisure-based development, while Trinity Green will be redeveloped with modern luxury housing.

The High Street will also be enhanced with new retail units in a bid to attract more luxury retailers.

Parts of the development are expected to be built by Gosport Borough Council with the reminder by private developers.

Councillor Stephen Philpott, chairman of the council’s Economic Development Board, said: “Gosport is slightly behind on other towns in terms of retail and restaurant offering and this plan will make it a maritime and leisure destination.

“We want to attract investors to the private sector and other stakeholders to get on board.”

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of the council added: “We will be looking to the Solent LEP and other funds to make this an exciting scheme.”

However, doubts were expressed by opposition councillors that the plans would simply end up leading to a town full of unwanted houses.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the council, said: “The investment is a drop in the ocean, we have to sort out the ABC.

“We need to have a balance, we need jobs and businesses and no more houses.”

Labour councillor Dennis Wright, who represents Bridgemary North said: “While it’s good to see that we can set aside money to smarten up the area it means attracting developers who will build houses with infrastructure that cannot cope already.

Labour councillor June Cully, who represents Gosport town added: “We are hoping that the development will not just be a housing development.”

The proposals were approved last night with 17 votes.