£15m homes scheme for St James’ Hospital site sparks fears over traffic and city overcrowding

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A £15m plan to build 115 homes on a Portsmouth hospital site has been revealed.

People got their first look at proposals to transform part of the St James’ Hospital site in Milton at a public meeting last night.

It comes as the Solent NHS Trust tries to help meet the government’s commitment to release surplus public sector land for housing.

Illustrations of the development were on display at Milton Park Primary School, where residents posed their questions to consultants.

Homeowner John Paffett, of Siskin Road, had some concerns.

The 67-year-old said: ‘The development looks nice, but the problem is people are trying to add more into somewhere that is already densely-populated.

‘We only have three arterial roads out of Portsmouth and we’re getting closer and closer to gridlock by adding more and more people.’

Ian Clark, a committee member at the Milton Neighbourhood Forum, added: ‘I realise that we need the housing there – the land is up for grabs.

‘I think they have done a reasonable job of fitting in the numbers, but I think the density is too high for the west side of the plan.

‘However they have done a good job of keeping as many trees as possible.’

The display illustrated the housing mix of the final construction, which – if approved in a planning application set to be submitted in the next two months – will comprise 35 one and two-bedroom flats, 40 three-bedroom homes and 22 four-bedroom homes.

Out of this, an estimated 30 per cent of properties are set to be affordable units – in compliance with the government’s local plan.

Bruce Voss, area manager of the HCA, which owns the land, said: ‘We want to bring this site back into use to provide housing for

local people, including affordable housing – spread across housing and flats, with a number of family houses as well.’

Mr Voss said if it is granted planning permission, the project could be completed by late 2021, with the University of Portsmouth set to vacate the

Langstone campus

accommodation to make

way for the scheme next summer.

Addressing residents’ traffic fears, he continued: ‘In terms of the overall traffic impact, we recognise we’re at the end of quite a congested road and we’re looking to have no more traffic impact than the previous uses of the site, as a hospital and

the adjoining Langstone campus.

‘We’re not going to make it better, we’re realistic about that, but we don’t want to make it noticeably worse.’