Residents raise Somers Town hub concerns

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RESIDENTS living next to the site of Portsmouth’s planned community hub believe their voices are not being heard.

Despite claims from the council that they have been repeatedly consulted, occupants of sheltered housing tower block Ladywood House, in Somers Town, said they still had concerns.

Among them are the lack of parking at the hub, the increased traffic it could attract, and its proximity to their home.

Ernie Walker, 81, said: ‘We are not against the hub, we are against the position it is in. We would like it to be built further away. At the moment it will be on top of us.’

Pamela Webb, 82, said she thought the plans would leave the area ‘overdeveloped’ and would like a smaller hub.

‘When they are cutting back on facilities I’m surprised we can afford this hub,’ said 66-year-old Vernon Phipps.

‘Why don’t we spend the money on improving what we already have?’

At a meeting of residents a majority felt the council had not done enough to address their worries.

But a spokesman for the Somers Town regeneration project team said they have made three visits to Ladywood House to make presentations and also put an information board in the building’s foyer.

Cllr Steven Wylie said residents could still decide what parking system to have.

He said: ‘I understand that there are some apprehensions surrounding some parts of the scheme, but we have consulted very extensively and we have to do what is best for everybody.’