Mixed response to approval of Leigh Park housing development

How the new homes in Blendworth Crescent, Leigh Park, could look
How the new homes in Blendworth Crescent, Leigh Park, could look

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COUNCILLORS have given a lukewarm response to plans for more homes to be built in their ward.

Forty-eight affordable houses and flats have been approved for Blendworth Crescent in Leigh Park, Havant. The decision was made by Portsmouth City Council, which owns the land.

The site of the £7.3m project is an overgrown field and former playground, and Battins ward councillor Malc Carpenter says that residents are worried.

He said: ‘I spoke to one woman whose property is separated from the site by a row of brambles, and she was concerned about the privacy aspect. However, the planning officer assured her that the brambles would remain.

‘Another was concerned that the development would take away a habitat for small mammals and bats in the area.’

Cllr Carpenter and fellow Battins councillor Faith Ponsonby objected to the plans submitted by contractor PMC, opposing the five-storey height and parking provisions of the development.

The revised plan is four storeys.

Cllr Ponsonby said that the new proposal ‘has gone some way to addressing these concerns’.

She said: ‘While I appreciate that we need homes, they need to be of a quality that would be not only sufficient but pleasant for residents.’

According to Cllr Ponsonby, nearby householders were split over the proposal.

Cllr Carpenter added: ‘People are used to the fact that it’s been a derelict piece of land for so long, but it’s being put to good use and will alleviate our chronic housing shortage.’

Of the homes, which should be finished in spring 2018, 62 per cent will be available through Havant Borough Council’s letting system Hampshire Home Choice, which rents out social housing.

Cllr Steve Wemyss, Portsmouth’s cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We are committed to building high quality new homes to ease pressure on the housing waiting list and to generate income for the council.’