The scheme is being built through Home England’s direct commissioning initiative, which is designed to enable the government to fast-track the building of homes on publicly owned land and diversify housing delivery. Wates Residential, which is investing £25m into the project, will build 200 homes on the Daedalus site at double the pace of the industry standard.
Daedalus is the old Royal Navy Air Station in Lee-on-the-Solent. The site originally served as a seaplane base in 1917 during the First World War and later became the main training and administrative centre of the Fleet Air Arm. Since its decommissioning in 1996, the site fell into disrepair before being acquired by Homes England, Wates’ client for the project.
The approved proposals are designed to reflect the history of the area and the military buildings on site. Red brick bands and textured brick patterns will be used to complement the existing buildings.
The decision by Gosport Borough Council came after outline planning permission for an employment-led scheme with a cluster of aviation, marine, innovation and technology industries, as well as the two residential developments, was granted in 2016.
Paul Nicholls, managing director of Wates Residential South, said: “The Daedalus housing project will provide much-needed homes for the local people of Gosport, which are designed entirely with them in mind. The council’s unanimous support for our vision for the area is recognition not only of the quality of the work Wates Residential delivers, but also our commitment to ensuring this project brings economic and social value to Gosport and the wider Lee-on-the-Solent area. We are hugely excited to begin breathing new life into this historically significant site.”
Stephen Kinsella, strategic director for land at Homes England, said: “This exciting new development at Daedalus is an excellent example of both Homes England’s commitment to bringing public land back into use for new homes, and our work to diversify the housebuilding market to help increase the speed and scale of housing development.”