THIS is the first look at how a block of retirement homes could look on derelict land owned by ex-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp at Southsea seafront.
Developer McCarthy & Stone has released a computer generated image to The News of the apartments it wants to occupy on the site of the former Savoy buildings in Southsea.
The architects who have produced the design and been hired to carry out the work believe it is in keeping with nearby buildings.
Tom Russell, director at Emmett Russell Architects, which is based in Bristol, said: ‘The design responds to the character of the surrounding seafront buildings, making reference to their lightness of colour and elegant proportions with large windows and generous balconies which enjoy the site’s greatest asset – its fantastic sea views.
‘We’re delighted to be working with McCarthy & Stone on this exciting project on such an important site for Southsea.
‘The vacant site reads as a “missing tooth” on the seafront.
‘Our first priority has been to repair this gap and stitch back together the urban fabric of this part of the seafront with a building that is contextual in scale and contemporary in appearance.’
McCarthy & Stone normally uses in-house architects to carry out its plans, but the company says it decided to hire from elsewhere on this occasion to ensure the homes are of high quality.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader and who lives near the proposed flats, said: ‘The site has been an eyesore for a long time and it does need to be developed.
‘I’m pleased that the architects have produced a design in line with other buildings along the seafront.’
Meanwhile, residents were able to look at the plans in more detail this afternoon at a public exhibition at the Royal Beach Hotel in St Helen’s Parade, Southsea, from 3.30pm to 7pm.
The plan includes a Co-op food store on the ground floor – though a case was made at the latest meeting of the Southsea Association that it should be on the side of Clarendon Road and not face the seafront. The development is subject to planning permission and McCarthy & Stone will take over the land from Mr Redknapp if it is granted.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the city council, still hopes a slice of developers contributions from the regeneration of the Savoy site will go towards the repair of nearby South Parade Pier.