TWO crucial decisions have given a boost to the multi-million pound regeneration of Portsmouth.
A government inspector has approved two big planks of Portsmouth City Council’s vision for more housing, jobs and transport improvements.
The go-ahead has now been given to the Portsmouth Plan – the council’s blueprint for development up to 2027.
The council said this will give developers more certainty on its planning policy and allow it to accelerate work on major schemes.
Also approved was the council’s plan for a levy on new building projects, which is designed to help pay for new transport schemes, flood defences, green spaces and community facilities.
Cllr Mike Hancock, the council’s head of planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘Approval of these two key parts of our planning strategy is a big boost to the regeneration of the city.
‘Developers wanting planning permission now know exactly what we expect of them, because it’s laid out in the Portsmouth Plan. They can see how we want the city to look in the future and plan accordingly.
‘The CIL is an open, matter-of-fact way of raising money from developers, ensuring the community benefits when new building projects take place. It will help us pay for infrastructure like the new junction off the M275 at Tipner, which we need to kick-start regeneration.’
The Portsmouth Plan, drawn up after consulting residents, sets out the planning blueprint for the city for the next 15 years. It includes policies on major sites at Port Solent, Horsea Island, Tipner, Fratton Park and the city centre, as well as considering the amount of housing, employment, shopping and infrastructure needed to support it.
Opposition planning spokeswoman Donna Jones said: ‘These decisions will give the council the ability to set its own key priorities, it is crucial for the city moving forward and I fully support them both.’
The plan also deals with flood risk policy, sustainable transport, environmental protection and good design.
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘The point of having a local plan is it stops developers just building wherever they want. That is the danger of not having one.’
The new levy on development was brought in nationally in 2010 and the council has now become only the fourth local authority in the country to receive approval for its operation locally.
The community infrastructure levy (CIL) sets out exactly how much developers will pay towards infrastructure.
It is based on floorspace and is designed to largely replace the Section 106 system, under which the council had to negotiate with developers to get infrastructure contributions.
THE CITY BLUEPRINT
· Tipner redevelopment
Proposals for the £130m clean-up and development of Tipner include more than 600 homes, a new motorway junction and the decontamination of a large area of toxic land. When completed, the council hopes the regeneration will also provide 25,000sq ft of business space, 1,500 new jobs, waterside open spaces, a park and ride and a hotel.
· Port Solent and Horsea Island
The council has plans to build a further 1,000 homes in Port Solent and on Horsea Island, along with a bridge between Tipner and Horsea Island.
The aim is to open up land for regeneration and provide access to the newly-proposed country park facilities.
· Portsmouth City Centre
Towards the end of last year the council approved £100,000 to design a new road system for the city centre.
There are also proposals to build a four-star, 200-room hotel with conference room and exhibition space in the city centre.
· Lakeside North Harbour
A major complex in the north of the city which will provide a hotel, business accommodation and a Porsche car dealership.
· Somers Town and North Southsea
The regeneration of Somers Town features a state-of-the art community hub, 29 homes, an adventure playground and new business space in its first phase.