AN appeal has been launched against the decision to throw out plans for new retirement flats along Southsea seafront.
Campaigners celebrated in January after councillors rejected McCarthy & Stone’s proposals after it was accused of using ‘bully-boy’ tactics to try and get its way.
I hope the planning inspector has the courage of his convictions to carry it through for the people of Portsmouth, because we need don’t need a supermarket on the front of such prime land.Nick Courtney, of The People’s Plan for Southsea
The company’s designs for the former Savoy site – which included the flats and a small supermarket for the land, which is owned by former Pompey manager Harry Redknapp – were criticised for not being good enough and not in keeping with the area.
But now the firm has appealed – and a planning inspector will hold a public hearing on May 21 to decide whether the plans should get the green light after all.
Nick Courtney, of The People’s Plan for Southsea, who turned up with a ‘no’ placard against the plans at the last planning meeting, said: ‘I hope the planning inspector has the courage of his convictions to carry it through for the people of Portsmouth, because we don’t need a supermarket on the front of such prime land.
‘There was a massive sense of feeling against this.
‘The overall consensus from the public is they don’t mind who lives upstairs, whether it is old or young people, they want a quality-looking building and something on the bottom that will benefit the people of Portsmouth.’
Council officers recommended approval as they deemed the designs satisfactory.
Tory councillor Ken Ellcome, who sits on the council’s planning committee, said: ‘This is what I expected from McCarthy & Stone.
‘This is what the company did with its scheme in Havant Road, Drayton. It’s big business using the system, which it is perfectly entitled to do, but it’s not necessarily what local people want.
‘I have got no pre-judgments in what the inspector’s decision will be, but there was a previous application for flats on the site which was approved.’
He added: ‘I have got no high expectations the inspector will refuse this – I hope they will.’
The hearing will be held in room K of Portsmouth’s Civic Offices and start at 10am. It is expected to last all day.