MULTI-million pound plans to transform a Hampshire boatyard into one of the world's flagship marinas has been dealt a major blow.

Whitehall has stepped in to decide the future of the massive scheme at the Swanwick Marina just months after Fareham council gave it the green light.

Site owners Premier Marinas plan to totally transform the site located on the River Hamble bringing around 200 jobs into the area and incorporating a landmark three storey pavilion as the focal point of the marina.

The redevelopment proposals include a retail area, bar, restaurant, offices, boatyard complex with workshops and 49 homes.

But now the Daily Echo can reveal that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears has called in the planning application and a public inquiry will now be held.

Giving the reasons a statement from the Government Office for the South East says: "The Secretary of State is of the opinion that the application is one that she ought to decide herself because she considers that the proposals may conflict with national policies on important matters and could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality."

It is not known when the local inquiry will be held but the decision by the government to call in the application has angered Fareham council leader Sean Woodward.

He said: "It could delay scheme for as much as a year and create a great deal of uncertainty for the workforce at Swanwick."