Go-ahead given for 85 homes to be built in Portsmouth

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PERMISSION to build 85 new homes on a former school site has been granted in Paulsgrove.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee voted unanimously yesterday to approve a new housing estate on the site of Westfield Junior School, which was demolished in 2011.

Concerns were raised about access to the Jubilee Road site, the design of the houses, the possibility of increased crime and antisocial behaviour, as well as parking in the area.

But these issues were not enough to stop councillors from backing the plans, which have been drawn up by Barratt Homes Southampton.

The residential development is made up of 80 houses and five flats with 163 parking spaces, along with a green space south of the homes.

Out of the 85 properties the developer has also committed to offering 26 affordable homes

Labour councillor for Paulsgrove John Ferrett said he thought residents’ worries over access to the site, antisocial behaviour and parking had largely been addressed by the developer.

He said: ‘I fully support providing more housing in the city and in that area, particularly social housing.

‘Housing is badly needed in Paulsgrove and throughout Portsmouth, so it is good to see that we are getting a new development on this site while also maintaining some green space.’

Chairman of the committee, Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt, also said he was completely behind the scheme.

‘It ticks all of the right boxes,’ he said.

‘This is precisely the sort of thing that should be going on around the city. It is the sort of development that Portsmouth needs.’

But despite the overwhelming support of the committee there were objections to the designs put forward for the houses.

In the report the council’s design review panel wrote: ‘The panel was disappointed with both the layout and design.

‘Although reference was made to an “Arts and Crafts” inspiration, this was not apparent in the scheme presented.’

There was also an objection from Sport England, which wasn’t happy with the loss of a mini-football pitch that was previously on the school playing field.

But in their report council planning officers wrote: ‘The loss of the sports pitch at the application site was considered to have been adequately compensated for by the replacement Victory Primary School redevelopment to the east on Allaway Avenue.’