Deciding where to go for a holiday can be fun (planning something exciting and energising), full of anticipation for the journey (which may include the challenges of travel, early starts, long flights etc) and getting to a place you want to visit (successfully achieving the objective). No less is this the case for the journey of our place, Gosport, seeking to grow and be fit for generations to come.
In the last three years we have been building a track record of success in Gosport’s Economic Development. At the same time we have sought to unlock some very big opportunities that have been stalled for too long. This has wrongly encouraged a view that any plan ‘is all very well, but it won’t happen’. As Chairman of Economic Development from 2010 to 2013, I was delighted to have a hand in working out what the destination might look like, confident that we have the potential to grow economically and as a community, and ensuring that the plans were realisable.
It is thus very good to see emerging, after a lot of hard work on this journey, good news for two key sites in the Borough with importance beyond our border for the region. Haslar and Daedalus make quite a pair of special development sites. They bring history, great locations, the opportunities of scale and the chance of new jobs and a real renewal – respecting the past but making strides for the future of Gosport and the people who will live, work and visit here.
But there is more to do on the journey towards these new exciting destinations being delivered at Haslar and Daedalus. And some parts of the journey may yet be difficult (money, agreeing detailed options, some change that will not suit everyone). But if the partnerships formed hold fast to a common vision and that vision remains exciting and energising for the Borough, then the difficulties of the journey will be more than worth it.
So I say Hurrah for the progress being reported this week. Progress with submitting an outline planning application for Haslar (although both the Developer and the Council know there are some important issues still to resolve) and to see the growing support for the airfield and the focus on key businesses at Daedalus.
May the destination continue to encourage all who are working on the journey.