Decision over Harry Redknapp’s land in Southsea postponed

The site on South Parade earmarked for development
The site on South Parade earmarked for development

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DESIGNS for retirement flats to be built on land owned by Harry Redknapp need to be changed to suit the character of the seafront, councillors have said.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee met last night to consider proposals for the site of the former Savoy buildings in South Parade, Southsea.

The McCarthy & Stone development is made up of 32 flats and 66 assisted living apartments.

Councillors agreed to defer the application to allow the firm to alter the design.

Councillor Frank Jonas said: ‘I have lived here all my life. We keep on about the seafront being the jewel in the crown of the city.

‘I was expecting a bit more for this prime site. It’s the nearest building to the sea.’

The Savoy buildings were destroyed by a huge fire in August 2011.

After submitting the first version of the plans, which also include a convenience store, McCarthy & Stone was told to go away and improve them. Councillors were looking at the second draft last night.

Cllr Ken Ellcome added: ‘This is a very difficult application to determine. I think the design has still got a way to go.

‘I’m not sure it’s going to revitalise the seafront. I know that everybody needs somewhere to live, even if they need assistance. But I’m not convinced. We would have been better off with a good hotel along the seafront.

‘I have a great number of concerns about the design. I’m not convinced that the traffic problems I envisaged aren’t going to take place.

‘It’s potentially an accident blackspot. I would like to see them going even further to address some of the issues.’

Cllr Stephen Hastings said: ‘I still feel that the design isn’t in keeping with the other buildings nearby. I still have some concerns about the convenience store.

‘Whilst we will need developments of this type in the future, I’m not sure it’s in the right place here.’

The council received letters from 18 residents in favour and 24 against on the grounds the design of the building and use of the space is not good enough.