Sector - Energy, Fuel & Utilities

Hundreds Answer Council Call on Homes

A massive public engagement project has seen hundreds of local residents of Portsmouth City Council to share their views on plans to build new housing at a disused old records office site.

The council has now uploaded everything that residents, businesses, and other stakeholders said about the new homes to be built on the derelict council-owned site located at Museum Road, Southsea, to a brand-new public engagement web page.

After speaking to those who live in the surrounding area, and hand delivering questions to those who live nearby, the council has committed to seven key principles as the basis of their design. They will provide high-quality, eco-friendly homes to replace the empty building when it is demolished.

Based on feedback, the council has committed to:

  • Build homes which hare appropriate for the site. This could include housing for the elderly and private sale etc
  • Maintain security of Pembroke Park and add no direct access to Pembroke Park
  • Design a high-quality, environmentally friendly scheme that is sensitive to its location and to Portsmouth City Museum
  • Maintain the security of the museum and the integrity of its grounds
  • Retain as many of the existing trees as possible and replace any that the site may have to lose as well as respecting the site’s location in a conservation area.
  • Ensure that the scheme has as low an impact as possible on parking and traffic congestion in the local area

Also based on what people have said, the council will NOT:

  • Build high rise
  • Include student accommodation in the scheme

Leader of the Council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: “Thank you to everybody who shared their views.

“We know that taking down the derelict records office, and replacing it with new homes, will affect local people so we wanted to ask as many residents and businesses as possible for their thoughts before we started to put together plans.”

As part of the intensive public engagement exercise; the council:

  • contacted more than 1,500 local people as part of the consultation
  • collected full feedback from 70% of the people living in the closest block of flats to the site, Hartford House
  • collected full feedback from 55% of the people living in neighbouring Pembroke Park and the surrounding area

Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: “It’s not an option for us to do nothing with this site because this council-owned building has reached the end of its usable life and is suffering from major structural issues, including subsidence. It’s costing the council money to keep it safe and the site has been identified as suitable for housing by planners so it’s an unmissable opportunity to provide the high quality homes that Portsmouth people need.

“We’ve made a huge amount of effort to make sure that we are having a meaningful two-way conversation with local people. We will now start to work on designs for the housing, taking into account as much as possible of what we’ve been told as part of this major public engagement.

“When the plans are ready we will take them to the people living, and working, closest to the site for discussion.”

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