COMMUNITY groups are locked in a battle with developers over the sprucing up of a city car park.
The Portsmouth Society wants to put in flowers, bushes and miniature trees at the car park, in Market Way, Landport – the site of the old Tricorn.
But since asking owners Centros last April the society – which wants to carry out the work before the redevelopment of the Northern Quarter in a few years’ time – says it hasn’t had a response.
Celia Clark, president of The Portsmouth Society, said: ‘We don’t want to see an empty concrete site until potentially 2017.
‘Our plans are simple and cheap. I don’t know why it’s taken this long to decide this.
‘I’ve contacted Centros and now I’m awaiting a response. I’m extremely fed up.’
As reported in The News, the building of a new £500m shopping, housing and business scheme was due to begin in 2015 – but Centros has pushed back the work by an extra 12 to 21 months.
The society wants to improve the triangular stretch of concrete land bordering Market Way and Cascades Approach.
The work would be part-funded by the society and the Portsmouth Culture Partnership, which recently stepped in to support the project.
Both groups are looking to cover additional costs through donations from the public and grants from local businesses.
Students from the University of Portsmouth have also come up with their own designs.
Steve Pitt, chairman of Portsmouth’s Culture Partnership, said: ‘As you travel to Gunwharf you are met by this concrete mass, which is doing Portsmouth no favours at all.
‘It’s embarrassing because tourists have to see it in the state it’s in. We’re not asking for any money from Centros – all we want is permission to make its land look nicer.
‘So Centros need to get its act together and come back to us with a decision. It’s incredibly frustrating.’
Steve Bryson, a spokesman for Centros, said: ‘It’s not as easy as just saying yes or no.
‘We need to look into this thoroughly. We don’t want there to be a chance that problems could arise from this.
‘There could be health and safety issues. What if someone falls over the things put in place? We also need to look into insurance. You can’t put a timescale on something like this.’
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