COUNCILLORS will consider residents’ views on a plan to build up to 480 homes in Milton at a meeting tonight.
This will include results from a consultation, held last month, about the plan for the homes to be built on the site of St James’ Hospital, in Locksway Road, Milton.
The plan has provoked angry reactions from residents, who are concerned about the impact the extra homes will have on infrastructure, existing traffic congestion, the environment and wildlife.
Cllr Luke Stubbs, who will lead the meeting, said: ‘We all recognise that Portsmouth is a densely populated city – it has its infrastructure problems.
‘We would all like to see no development at all. I recognise that the development is unpopular but we need to be mindful of national planning guidelines.
‘That is why we are willing to do some future work into this site and get the best deal for local residents.’
He added that residents should take into account that 235 of the homes would be a conversion of the existing hospital building, which if it did not turn into homes then the NHS-owned building would be without a use.
The consultation showed 235 residents were against the proposals.
The Milton Neighbourhood Forum has spoken out about the plans.
It was concerned about the inclusion of the University of Portsmouth playing field and the St James cricket pitch into the plans and it highlighted the strength of public feeling against the homes.
The forum said: ‘The residents of Milton remain unconvinced... These are valuable local assets which have an essential function in the locality by offering feeding grounds to protected species, helping to maintain a wildlife corridor and offering healthy recreation to many local people who reside in cramped streets in other parts of the city.
‘Views of local people have been sent to cabinet when this proposal was first aired, 150 local people attended the last neighbourhood forum meeting to express very clear views against the development and many people have taken the time and trouble to write to tell the council what they, the residents of this area, would like to see on these sites.
‘We ask our elected representatives to reflect the views of local people and resist the housing, the number of housing, the allocation of existing protected open space into the site allocations and find better and more acceptable uses for these sites.’
No formal planning application has been submitted yet for the brownfield site.