Proposals to bring new businesses, homes and thousands of jobs to the Solent Enterprise Zone in South Hampshire have received a major boost after plans to regenerate the site were given the green light.
Two outline planning applications which pave the way for a major redevelopment of the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus were approved yesterday by Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils.
The decisions enable more than 1m sq ft of new employment space to be delivered, including premises for new business, homes, a hotel and community facilities. It is anticipated that nearly 4,000 new jobs will be created and safeguarded by the proposed development, creating a huge economic boost for the area. These decisions are a significant step towards partners' ambitions to turn the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus into a hub for advanced manufacturing and technology businesses from the marine, aerospace and defence sectors.
The application to Gosport Borough Council seeks to bring forward 70,000 sq m of new and refurbished business space, 200 homes, 32 sheltered housing units and new community and leisure facilities to the heart of the Waterfront area, located to the south of the airfield. Around 3,000 jobs are expected to be created by this development.
The planning application to Fareham Borough Council seeks to develop and improve the provision of employment space at the hangars to the east and west of the airfield, providing around 40,000 sq m of new development, in a move that will create around 950 new jobs.
The news was today welcomed by the local authorities, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which has progressed the planning application after taking responsibility for the land in September last year, and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which aims to create to create 10,000 local jobs by 2026.
Gary Jeffries, director of the Solent LEP, said: "These decisions are a fantastic result for the local economy and will help to unlock the huge potential this site has, bringing thousands of jobs, new business and investment to the area. All the partners have worked hard to get to this point and local people should welcome the results of their efforts, as we do. We will be working in the months ahead to ensure that our vision for this important site is realised."
The next steps will see the HCA marketing opportunities at Daedalus to attract new businesses within key target sectors. Work is also due to start on the upgrade of the airfield and the provision of essential new roads and services.
Colin Molton, the HCA's executive director for the South and South West, said: "This is great news for South Hampshire which stands to gain a significant economic benefit from the investment, jobs and new facilities that these decisions will bring.
"As the organisation responsible for the ownership and management of much of this site, we have an important role to play in delivering the vision for the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus. Partners have put a great deal of effort in to get to this point. But the hard work starts now and we will remain focused on putting in place the foundations that will allow this important regeneration project to progress."
Ian Lycett, chief executive of Gosport Borough Council, said: "The Daedalus Enterprise Zone is a vitally important project for Gosport. Not only will it create thousands of jobs for local people, but it will generate improvements to the surrounding infrastructure which will benefit all residents of the peninsula."
Peter Grimwood, chief executive of Fareham Borough Council, added: "This is an important milestone in the development of Daedalus. We have always taken the view that the future of the site depends on the operation of a viable airfield. The planning application recognises this, and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver the vision for such an important employment site."
Anne-Marie Mountifield, executive director of PUSH, said: "The redevelopment of this site has long been a strategic priority for South Hampshire. Granting of the two outline planning consents is a real milestone that starts to unlock the next stage at Daedalus, which is delivering the Solent Enterprise Zone and creating new businesses, new homes and new jobs."
The original planning applications for this work were submitted by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) in April last year, before ownership of the site transferred to the HCA in September 2011.