Developer unveils its vision for Harry Redknapp’s Southsea land

The former Joanna's nightclub being demolished in 2011
The former Joanna's nightclub being demolished in 2011
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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A RETIREMENT homes developer wants to breathe new life into derelict land owned by ex-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp.

Community leaders have welcomed the news that the site of the former Savoy buildings, opposite South Parade Pier, in Southsea, could be transformed.

Developers McCarthy & Stone wants to buy the land and build retirement homes and properties providing extra care.

The proposals include a shop, which The Southern Co-operative is likely to take on.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s really, really good news for Southsea.

‘The site looks terrible at the moment, and I am really looking forward to seeing what the design will look like.

‘There is another developer I am told, who wanted to do a high-rise build on the site, and I am pleased that won’t happen.’

As previously reported, the land, on South Parade, has been rundown since the remaining parts of the Savoy Buildings, which included the derelict Joanna’s nightclub, burned down in August 2011.

Mr Redknapp’s firm, Pierfront Developments, declared it intentions to off-load the whole site in the months after, but nothing ever materialised.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, who represents the Eastney and Craneswater ward, said: ‘In principle, that is a site we want to see being developed.

‘There are a lot of retirement homes in the area, so in terms of the design of the building, it may well be okay.’

McCarthy & Stone would take over the land if planning permission is granted by the city council.

An application has not yet been submitted.

Neighbours will soon get the chance to view the proposals, which are in the early stages, and further exhibitions will be held in the coming months.

Vince Faithfull, chairman of The Southsea Association, said he was looking forward to looking at everything in more detail.

‘I welcome anything that is proposed for the site, providing it is sympathetic to the seafront,’ he said.

‘What we have to do is see what it entails before moving any further.’

Nigel Sibley, regional managing director for McCarthy & Stone south eastern region, said: ‘Given the unique setting on the seafront, we’re keen to develop a scheme which contributes to the local community both through the high-quality, attractive design and the increase in local housing choice the development would bring.’