MORE than 100 people gathered in Milton to make their feelings clear about plans to build on green land there.
Residents want to put together a neighbourhood plan to prevent hundreds of new homes being built on the former site of St James’ Hospital, in Milton.
Yesterday, people gathered at the site, holding banners as part of the Keep Milton Green campaign.
Kevin Doyle is from Keep Milton Green.
He said: ‘It’s all about preserving the green areas of Milton.
‘The biggest concern is the effect on the environment, particularly the wildlife here.
‘There are some really unbelievable things you will find here.
‘I’m an eternal optimist. I believe that we can stop these developers from basically messing up the area of Milton.
‘The number of people that turned up is absolutely fabulous.
‘We’ve had whole families turn up. People have been up all night making banners. We are all here.’
Janice Burkinshaw is the chairwoman of the Milton Neighbourhood Forum. She said: ‘Portsmouth is over-developed. Every bit of green land is valuable. This piece of green land is particularly valuable to Milton.
‘People live in very narrow streets with cars everywhere. They feel under pressure.
‘A place like this you can walk around and the children can come and collect conkers.
‘You can take the dogs for a walk. You can observe mature trees which are rare in Portsmouth.
‘Without all this we are all the poorer.
‘Every opportunity has to be taken to demonstrate how deep the feeling is locally that this is a valuable space. It shouldn’t be built on.’
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It’s important that local people are really clear and say it’s unacceptable to put so many houses on this site.
‘It’s a really lovely area. It was built because people needing mental health services needed calm areas.
‘Putting 480 houses here is just too many.
‘It’s really good that so many people came out. Local people have been very clear about this.’