Traffic fears over new homes on a Portsmouth hospital site

Concerns have been raised about plans to build homes on the St James' Hospital site
Concerns have been raised about plans to build homes on the St James' Hospital site
From left, Terence Rierkert, Matt Chapman, Steve Kramer, Dan Deeks, Theresa Newstead, Simon Freeman and Josh Roux
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170948-1)

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DOUBTS have been raised over plans to build housing on a hospital site.

During last night’s meeting of the Milton Neighbourhood Forum, NHS representatives were grilled over the future of St James’ Hospital.

The site, in Locksway Road, Milton, used to provide mental health services but, as new buildings have been created elsewhere in the city, these services have moved out.

Now, owners of the land, NHS Property Services, (NHSPS), is looking to sell the site, which could potentially have up to 250 homes built on it.

Councillor Darren Sanders said: ‘There needs to be infrastructure provided because more housing will cause an issue.

‘Traffic passing through Locksway Road and Warren Avenue is already bad.

‘You can’t have two cars passing through. New homes will add to this.’

Andrew Strange is head of planning and development for NHSPS. He said: ‘The site has been identified as suitable for housing and it is intended to sell it to help meet the government’s commitment to release surplus public sector land for housing.’

As reported, plans have been drawn up to move medical services – run by Solent NHS Trust – into two empty floors in St Mary’s Community Health Campus.

The trust said it is using less than five per cent of the main hospital site, and would save £2m a year by moving.

The first phase will see the Child Development Centre relocate to Battenburg Avenue Clinic, in Copnor, and the Milton Harbour School move elsewhere.

Money generated from the sale will help refurbish the current clinic.

A second phase is to move the Turner Centre, the Langstone Centre, and the Kestrel Centre – which are attached to the main building – to either St Mary’s or in a new fit-for-purpose building on the existing site.

Sharilyn Pullen, of Lapwing Road, Milton, said: ‘Something new like housing fit for the elderly should be built – or a dementia care unit. Nothing new is being created.’