Chance for public to have a say on Tipner proposals

Unite the trade union holding a universal credit protest on the doorstep of Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt's constituency office on November 10. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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PLANS to clean contaminated land at Tipner to make way for houses will be presented to the public next Monday.

The proposals, expected to be discussed at Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee meeting in November, have been altered after opposition to a previous scheme in the summer.

It’s hoped the changed plan will enable up to 100 houses, and a 4,921sq ft development including shops, to be built.

John Slater, the council’s head of planning services, said: ‘It’s one of three applications to use land at Tipner. It’s here because last time residents had strong objections to our land-cleaning proposal.’

The land to be developed is east of the M275, north of Tipner Lane, west of the former greyhound stadium, and an area west of Twyford Avenue.

It will form part of a wider regeneration of Tipner, which would see 1,600 homes built, up to 82,020sq ft of land used for commercial purposes, and a park and ride created.

But those plans rely on the government approving a new junction from the M275.

The junction, which would cost £34m, is being considered by the Department for Transport, with a decision expected later this year.

The current scheme can go ahead even if the junction is not approved.

But first, land must be decontaminated at a site formerly occupied by PD Fuels, where poisons in the soil include cyanide, arsenic and asbestos.

Proposals in May suggested using a thermal desorption unit – a ‘soil oven’ – to heat the substances until they were safe.

But residents in nearby roads, including Tipner Lane, said the machine, which would have been used 24 hours a day, would cause unacceptable noise levels.

The new proposals from the council and the Homes and Community Agency propose using a soil-washing machine, which blasts soil with water and separates it from contaminants.

It can be switched off when not needed, and used only in daytime working hours.

The plans also propose raising parts of the land by 250mm, to protect against contaminants remaining in the soil.

Mr Slater said: ‘We planned to raise the land 1m for flood protection, but that would mean 4,862 lorry journeys, to bring 86,295 cubic feet of concrete. We don’t need flood protection until after the M275 junction is in place, so we’ve reduced that so just 1,178 journeys will be needed.’

The consultation will be held from 3pm to 8pm, at Stamshaw Junior School.