LONG-awaited plans to transform the former depot in Bishop’s Waltham have been given the go-ahead.

Winchester city councillors have approved a scheme for the site off Lower Lane creating new business units.

The depot covers 0.95 acres and is situated in a former quarry. In the past it has been used as a base to store refuse trucks, but the site has been vacant in recent years.

The plot has previously been considered for a number of things, including a new fire station and housing.

Three new units will be built following a £1 million investment from the council.

Councillors had approved funds in June 2018 but following changes to government loans the council had to determine whether the project was still viable.

A report to cabinet by Cllr Kelsie Learney said that the scheme was viable and the authority predicts that it will make a surplus of £27,000 per year.

Cllr Learney said: “There is very strong demand for these kind of units throughout the district. In this particular market where we are dealing with small businesses they need to already exist or at least coming out of the ground before people feel ready to commit and actually sign on the bottom line.

“We are very confident that once we start building these, we can very quickly let them and provide high quality space in one of our important market towns.”

And ward councillor Steve Miller added: “It is very much needed in the area. There are at least one tenant who is definitely very keen and would be a very good tenant.

“A lot of people are asking me when it is going to happen so please get on with it, it’s a very good project, let’s get it done.”

The planning application was given approval in May this year.