Row breaks out over EU study preventing building of new road

John Cass in Twyford Avenue.
John Cass in Twyford Avenue.

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A ROW over an environmental study is holding up plans to build a new road so lorries can be taken out of a residential area.

Residents in Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, Portsmouth, say their lives are being made a misery by the number of HGVs using the street to get to commercial land west of Tipner.

The council has to comply with EU regulations. We don’t have the power to waive that.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Tory cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development

Landowner John Henry Pounds wants to build a temporary route taking work vehicles out of people’s streets. But he has been told he needs to pay for and provide the city council with a report assessing the potential impact on the harbour and local wildlife.

He has written to the authority saying he will pay for the road but not the study – believed to be around £25,000 – as he believes it is unnecessary.

But council officials say the document is part of EU law and must be adhered to.

Twyford Avenue resident John Cass, chairman of Stamshaw and Tipner neighbourhood forum, said he is fed up with the situation.

And he questioned why the study is needed when Ben Ainslie Racing did not need one when applying to build its America’s Cup base at the Camber in Old Portsmouth.

‘Between 20 to 30 vehicles a day use the road,’ Mr Cass said.

‘We have got vehicles coming down that road 12 hours a day.

‘The situation is bad. It’s making our lives a misery.

‘The council has said Sir Ben didn’t need this assessment for the building at the Camber, and yet this does, because it’s near to a protected harbour.

‘But what is it protected from?

‘There’s a park and ride and a motorway there.’

Stephen New, director of Tipner Regeneration Company, which plans to build 518 homes east of Tipner, suggested the idea of the temporary route to Mr Pounds.

Mr New said the road – which would run parallel to the motorway – would be a ‘win-win situation’ as it would ease the number of lorries using his land.

And he promised that Twyford Avenue would still be widened once house building begins on his 
land.

Mr New, acting as a spokesman on behalf of Mr Pounds, said: ‘At this present time, the council is saying because of the impact on the harbour and the birds, it would need an impact assessment.

‘We are in the middle of a dialogue with the council, and Mr Pounds has produced a letter saying he doesn’t need one.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Tory cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘The council has to comply with EU regulations. We don’t have the power to waive that.

‘It’s not council red tape driving this.’

He added: ‘The best solution in the long run is for the unneighbourly commercial activity to the west of the motorway to cease and for the area to be redeveloped.’