Victory for Portsmouth residents after plans for nine bedsits are scrapped

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

Children in Need: Pub raises money with 12-hour ping pong game

  • Developer withdraws plans for nine bedsits after residents launch campaign
  • Hundreds voiced disapproval over scheme and feared property would be run as hostel
  • Local people to now launch their own association
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CAMPAIGNERS have scored a victory after plans to turn a house into nine bedsits were scrapped.

Scores of residents spoke of their fury after an application was put forward to redevelop a house on the corner of Kirby Road and Kensington Road in Copnor, Portsmouth.

Residents in Kirby Road who were protesting against plans to build a nine-bed hostel. The plans have now been withdrawn ''''Picture: Miles O'Leary

Residents in Kirby Road who were protesting against plans to build a nine-bed hostel. The plans have now been withdrawn ''''Picture: Miles O'Leary

They said it was the wrong area to cram in multiple occupants as it is a quiet community – and were worried it would create huge issues with parking.

But Allen Planning, the agent which acted on behalf of the property developer, has revealed the proposals have now been withdrawn.

Though the company has not revealed the reason for the U-turn, it comes after The News told the firm that there had been huge opposition to the scheme and wanted a statement in response.

Joann Robertson, 44, of Kirby Road, said she was worried about the ‘massive impact’ it would have had on residents’ quality of life.

The plans submitted had no sanitation systems in there, parking would have been an absolute nightmare, and the property for the last decade has only housed an elderly couple.

Kirby Road resident Joann Robertson

And she said the residents are now going to be setting up an association given the success of the campaign.

Mrs Robertson said: ‘We are all delighted. Our initial concern was the lack of communication when the application had been submitted.

‘The plans submitted had no sanitation systems in there, parking would have been an absolute nightmare, and the property for the last decade has only housed an elderly couple.

‘Our concern also was whether this would have been some form of hostel.’

Pam McHardy, 70, who lives in Kensington Road, said: ‘It’s definitely a victory for us.

‘You just never know who you are going to get; especially in a nine-bed property.

‘The rent was supposed to be lower end of the market; so we could have had drunks, drug addicts, all sorts.

‘I don’t think it was the right environment for around here.’

Scores of residents joined by local councillors met The News to speak of their concerns after the plans were drawn up. Around 300 people signed a petition in opposition, and scores of objections were posted on the city council’s website.