Gosport Borough Council has refused applications from Berkeley Homes to convert the empty 1st floor of the Granary to six new 2 bed flats rather than to continue to offer it as a commercial space.
The planning and Listed Building applications for the conversion from commercial to residential were originally made in July 2020 and went out for public consultation at that time, but the report only only came to the GBC Regulatory Board (which decides planning applications) on 31st August 2022.
In the report to the Board, the Planning Officer summarised the planning history, the various comments and objections (there were no letters supporting the applications) and recommended that the applications be refused.
The reason given for recommending refusal was:
"...the proposed development would by reason of its design and layout, result in the unacceptable loss of the historic open plan character which would cause less than substantial harm to the significance and special interest of this Grade II* Listed Building and this harm is not outweighed by any public benefits, contrary to the NPPF and Policies LP10 and LP11 of the Gosport Borough Local Plan 2011-2029"
The councillors who sit on the Regulatory Board made various comments about the proposed development and their hopes for the future of Royal Clarence Yard. The draft minutes record the following from the discussion:
"Members felt that the developer had not tried hard enough to attract other commercial interests, in this area and other vacant plots on the site, and needed to be encouraged to not only explore other types of business but also carry out the remainder of outstanding tasks in terms of parking, lighting, signage etc."
More information, including the Planning Officer's report and the responses to the consultation can be found on the GBC Planning portal (refs 20/00273/FULL & 20/00274/LBA). A copy of the draft minutes of the meeting can be downloaded from the Democracy page for the Regulatory Board Meeting 31st Aug 2022.