Portsmouth homes plan decision delayed

Portsmouth MP flies out to storm-hit islands on first trip as development secretary

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PLANS to earmark another site in a congested area for new homes have been put on the backburner for a month.

Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet considered yesterday whether to advertise the site of St James’ Hospital, in Milton, as an ideal location for 435 family homes.
After hearing concerns from residents and ward councillors, members decided they needed more time to consider whether fewer homes could be built. Cabinet members said building that many properties would have an impact on roads and create further traffic problems.

DECISION DELAYED St James's Hospital inMilton                                                                                     Picture: Allan Hutchings (141733-349)

DECISION DELAYED St James's Hospital inMilton Picture: Allan Hutchings (141733-349)

Cllr Donna Jones, council leader, has asked its head of transport, Simon Moon, to see if government money can be used to pay for a new junction at the bottom of Eastern Road near The Good Companion pub to ease congestion.

But she admitted that may be unlikely.

‘That would be potentially expensive and probably be unlikely, but he will see if there are any pots of money from the Department for Transport available,’ Cllr Jones said.

Lib Dem ward councillor Will Purvis said: ‘We recognise the need for more homes in Milton. But it’s now being expected to take more than its fair share of development.’

Janice Burkinshaw, chairwoman of Milton Neighbourhood Forum, said: ‘Moorings Way and Locksway Road won’t be able to cope with an estimated 900 extra cars.’

As reported, the council is also considering altering the size of a future housing development at the University of Portsmouth’s Langstone Campus to include nearby green fields.

But council officers have made assurances that open space would be protected around the campus and new homes wouldn’t be put there.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, who is in charge of planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, reiterated planning applications could still be put in for the St James’ site and be won on appeal.

‘It’s not possible to block development just because of traffic problems on Eastern Road,’ he said.

But he said a masterplan needed to be in place to address the potential impact on the area.

Another meeting date has yet to be set.