A MULTIMILLION-POUND plan to redevelop a derelict cinema has been welcomed.
The former Odeon cinema, in London Road, North End, has been mainly empty since it closed in 2008, but it has now been earmarked for development.
In the plan, the existing Sainsbury’s Local will stay at the front of the Art Deco building, with the rest demolished to make way for 15 homes – a mix of one to four-bed town houses and flats.
A planning application has been submitted to Portsmouth City Council however this is being redrawn after the architects were urged to make the scheme more modern.
Mark Holman, director of HRP Architects, in Limberline Spur, working on behalf of Amercourt Ltd, said it was an exciting opportunity.
He said: ‘Businesses in North End are struggling and they need customers. This will bring them with an exciting mix of family homes in the city centre.’
He added: ‘Nothing has happened on that site for a number of years and I’m sure that people would prefer to see a well-designed site with family homes than the derelict overgrown site it is today.
‘This development will add value to the area and to surrounding properties.’
The scheme would include 23 car parking spaces, with access from Laburnum Grove. It is hoped the plans will go to councillors for a decision this year after another round of consultation on the new design – and that work could start by December.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt – who has campaigned to rejuvenate North End after stores in the once-popular shopping street closed and buildings were left empty – welcomed the plans but called for certainty over parking.
She said: ‘One of the solutions that had been mentioned to help North End was a better mix of residential and retail, however that must be done well. That means not skimping on parking spaces and an attractive quality design. It would also be good to see what the developers might be able to invest in improving the look and feel of the shopping area as part of the application.’
John Cass, chairman of the Tipner and Stamshaw Neighbourhood Forum, said: ‘It’s good to see a planning application going in at last. This development will not only help out with the housing shortage in the city, and tidy up that end of the road but will also bring in some more shoppers – as the saying goes every little helps.’
To make a comment go to publicaccess.portsmouth.gov.uk and search reference 16/02107/OUT