Southsea seafront review shelved because of pressure on Portsmouth City Council staff

The  former nightclub Joanna's in Southsea was demolished.
The former nightclub Joanna's in Southsea was demolished.

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PRESSURES on Portsmouth City Council’s workforce means a review into a seafront planning dossier is unlikely to happen.

The Tory administration had revealed it wanted to revise the seafront masterplan, a document which aims to lay down how new developments on the seafront should look.

Councillors had discovered the site of the former Savoy buildings, in Southsea, had not been included in the plan, meaning the council would not have much power to prevent retirement flats being built there.

The review would have determined whether the Savoy site and others in the area should have been included to prevent developers putting forward schemes that do not benefit the community.

But it is not set to happen at any time soon due to staff redundancies and the council having to save cash.

As reported, up to 100 council workers are losing their jobs by April and £13.1m is being clawed back from the budget.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Tory deputy council leader, said: ‘There are lots of things we need to do and we have limited resources and limited staff to do the work. There is not any obvious benefit at the moment to review the policy. The masterplan never covered areas of potential residential use in any event.

‘We will have to do something about the level of houses in multiple occupation in the city. We are looking at a range of developments and it’s all the same staff doing the work.’

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader, said it was a ‘broken promise’ by the council.

‘There is a range of things we were told was going to happen and they haven’t,’ he said. ‘We were told the council was going to change the start time to use free bus passes from 9.30am to 9am, and that has not happened.

As reported, the council’s planning committee has decided the Savoy site plans need to be re-designed before planning permission is granted.