Campaign to stop homes being built steps up a gear

Campaigners have been thrown a lifeline in their bid to stop hundreds of new homes being built on the St James' Hospital site
Campaigners have been thrown a lifeline in their bid to stop hundreds of new homes being built on the St James' Hospital site
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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Campaigners have been thrown a lifeline in their bid to stop hundreds of new homes being built in their area.

Traffic bosses have scrutinised a survey carried out at busy road junctions in Milton and say they ‘cannot cope’ with more cars.

And critics against the NHS’ bid to sell the St James’ Hospital site to housing developers say the warning could help Portsmouth City Council overturn planning applocations.

Lib Dem Milton councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said traffic officials at the council warned the junction of Locksway Road and Milton Road and by the Good Companion pub were already nearing capacity and would cease to function if more traffic was pushed through.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the council’s local plan stipulates developments should not be approved if they cripple the road network.

‘I’m really pleased we had the foresight to put in the city plan the defence we are now using,’ he said.

‘It’s a defence which should be justifiable to planning inspectors.’

Cllr Vernon-Jackson was one of a number of people in the community who helped study vehicle movements at 17 road junctions in Milton.

‘It’s a good piece of news and I’m y grateful for the volunteers that came out.

‘It’s a really good piece of defense against the 480 new homes and it wouldn’t have happened if volunteers from the local community had not come out and spent their time doing this.’

It comes after the NHS carried out a traffic survey last summer and concluded there were around 4,000 car movements a week when the hospital was in full-time use – and that number would be much less if it were to become residential.

But Cllr Vernon-Jackson says residents leave their homes at once to get to work so roads would be under even more strain.