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Historic Naval base to be regenerated into waterfront development

Historic Naval base and barracks to be reinvented into a 42-acre mixed-use waterfront development on Lee-on-the-Solent on the HMS Daedalus site.

Gosport Borough Council is working in close partnership with the developers and has resolved to approve plans for the restoration of HMS Daedalus at Lee-on-the-Solent, a historically significant waterfront naval base. The regeneration scheme has been put forward by a joint venture between Patron Capital, MurrayTwohig Developments, and Orwell Real Estate, who were selected by Homes England as development partners for the site in 2022.  

David Twohig, co-founder of MurrayTwohig Development and CEO of Daedalus Development Company, said: “This approval marks a significant milestone for Daedalus Waterfront. Central to this project is a sense of community pride, and it has been great to witness so many people eager to learn about our plans. The public consultations have seen over 800 people come and share their memories and experiences at this historic landmark, which have been key to guiding our vision. Working alongside the council, community and historic experts, these first phases will allow us to continue applying our hard-earned experience in preserving heritage, bringing community benefits and developing successful places to make this much-loved site a vibrant and productive asset for Lee-on-the-Solent and wider region.”

Central to the vision is the restoration of the historic buildings, including the World War One hangars that face the Solent. The first two zones submitted for detailed planning will deliver key objectives of the Daedalus Waterfront: employment prospects and reassuring the heritage of the site. To the north of the site, The Evill Industrial Park (named after the first commandant of HMS Daedalus, Lieutenant Commander Strathearn Evill) will be an important catalyst for the wider development that will bring jobs and opportunities through new small, medium and mid-sized industrial units.

The residential zone will save and celebrate the heritage of the area. This will include Daedalus Square, which will see the historic barracks square restored and transformed into a quiet, communal and public space with mixed-tenure town houses, apartments and terraces. This zone will also be home to Westcliffe Gardens, a second residential zone with a large publicly accessible park and sea views. Here, the restoration and protection of historic buildings includes Westcliffe House, The Wardroom and The Gatehouse and lodge.

The proposals will see 24,500 sqm of new, modern employment and industrial space, 5,200 sqm of commercial space for new businesses and jobs, 346 new mixed-tenure homes, 76 of which will be refurbishments of the existing heritage buildings including the historic barracks square plus new community services and facilities, including a public park and a world-class visitor attraction at Seaplane Square and The Hovercraft Museum. Daedalus Waterfront will create 240 full-time job opportunities a year.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: "This is great news for the Gosport area. The Daedalus development will provide much-needed new housing and jobs, and also has the benefit of saving several historic buildings and bringing them back into use after years of decay. We look forward to working closely with the developers as they progress the project."

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