Portsmouth City Council ‘in negotiations’ with Unite over student halls cash deal

Chaucer House site in Isambard Brunel Road
Chaucer House site in Isambard Brunel Road
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NEGOTIATIONS are ongoing over the amount of money Portsmouth City Council is expected to spend to pave the way for a new £30m student halls of residence.

Accommodation developer Unite was given permission in August by planners to build 484 rooms in two blocks over 12,081sqm following the demolition of buildings on Isambard Brunel Road, which includes the redevelopment of Chaucer House.

The deputy Tory leader of the council, Cllr Luke Stubbs, confirmed at the hearing that the council was expected to make a ‘capital receipt’ from the sale of the land so Unite could build the development, though a price was not revealed.

The News has since asked for all associated costs involved in the scheme under the Freedom of Information Act. A reply confirmed negotiations are ongoing over the final capital receipt.

And the council’s FOI team has said that no other costs have been paid towards the demolition.

The latest student halls earmarked for the city centre was approved despite the University of Portsmouth raising concerns that they had not been properly consulted – and that construction could have a big impact on students in Margaret Rule Hall in the same road.

Bernie Topham, the university’s chief operating officer, warned the route to all access during construction would be within a ‘unsophisticated, enclosed walkway’ that could leave students vulnerable.