Mixed views for sailing plans among residents

An artist's impression of the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters that could be built on the Camber in Old Portsmouth.'BAR is looking to set up a base for its America's Cup for 2015.''Picture drawn up by HGP Architects of Fareham PPP-140425-110809001
An artist's impression of the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters that could be built on the Camber in Old Portsmouth.'BAR is looking to set up a base for its America's Cup for 2015.''Picture drawn up by HGP Architects of Fareham PPP-140425-110809001

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THERE were mixed feelings among residents about a new racing headquarters that could be built in Old Portsmouth.

Members of the Portsmouth Sailing Club, who also live near the potential site, had varying views on the Ben Anslie’s America’s Cup headquarters.

A private meeting was held to give the members of the club, based in Bath Square, more information about the proposals and how the Camber would be transformed.

But although some people were fully behind the plans, others were unsure of what they would mean for the area.

Jim Page and his wife Angela are in favour.

Mr Page, 74, said: ‘I think the headquarters would be great for the Camber.

‘There are a couple of concerns but I think the council can deal with them.

‘It would really improve the area and is a better option for the site than houses, which would probably end up being built there instead.’

But for couple Susie and Ross Rennison, who live on King James Quay, the plans are too vague.

Mrs Rennison said: ‘The artist’s impression doesn’t show the rest of the Camber, only the headquarters. So where are the rest of the buildings?

‘To get a better understanding of the building, a small model needs to be built.’

Mr Rennison added: ‘Another concern is what will happen when Ben Ainslie moves on or retires? The structure will be purpose-built and if he decides to leave then we will be stuck with this massive building with no use.

‘I am in two minds about the whole thing.’

But for friends David Hammond and Angus Ross the proposal is bad for the city.

David said: ‘The council has just landed this on us residents with no say. This isn’t the right location for it at all.’