Tipner developer breaks years' long silence - to complain about Portsmouth City Council park and ride plan

DEVELOPERS with planning permission for 500 homes at Tipner have broken years of silence - to object over plans to expand the park and ride.

The Tipner Regeneration Company has said little publicly for several years and no homes have been built.

The company had permission to build 518 homes at Tipner East granted in 2012, with access off Twyford Avenue.

Its first public comment, through its agent Emma Barnett from Adams Henry Consulting, has been to criticise Portsmouth City Council’s park and ride expansion.

How the park and ride in Portsmouth could look. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

As reported, the council hopes to build a five-storey building with an extra 1,000 bays boosting overall capacity to 1,650.

But Ms Barnett, acting for the developer, hit out at the submitted plans as it appears to be based on early concepts for the council’s £1bn car-free Tipner West scheme, which is set to be built on reclaimed land.

Writing to the council, Ms Barnett said: ‘The whole design concept for the transport interchange is essentially based on a concept for Tipner West, for which there is no statutory basis.'

She added: ‘Considering a planning application on the basis of these very initial concepts for Tipner West is premature.'

How Tipner West could look if the city council's plans are approved. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

But the developer also objects on the grounds it has ‘the potential for significant overshadowing of TRC's approved development,’ branding the park and ride plan as ‘dominant and overbearing’.

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Home England also has permission for 150 homes on a neighbouring site.

Approaches by The News to the developer directly and through Ms Barnett yielded no reply.

Work has been carried out at the Tipner East site to meet planning conditions since permission was given in 2012.

The company is registered at Fort Southwick, with Burley-based Neil Abbott and Stephen New, based in Southsea, listed as directors on Companies House.

Their objection comes as council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson told The News ‘usage of the park and ride has been falling year on year’.

But he said it was an important part of the plan to reduce the number of cars in the city. He wants diesel lorries to leave their loads at the site, with them then taken by electric vehicles on into the city.

Meanwhile, other objections have been made over the park and ride plans.

Hampshire police’s designing out crime officer said: ‘A range of crimes including assault, vehicle crime, theft, drug offences, and anti-social behaviour (including rough sleeping) occur within the city's car parks and recreational parks.'

The officer added: ‘If the site is not to be subjected to high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, careful consideration will have to be given to the layout of the site and the physical security features incorporated into the design.’

The officer said the ‘mounded amenity park’ in the plans ‘will make for exciting riding’ for nuisance motorcyclists who currently target Alexandra Park.

The person added: ‘Separation of the car parking decks from the other facilities - to provide for the security of motor vehicles, preventing access to those without vehicles parked on car parking decks is essential - the current proposal appears to allow access to all.’

Anything to support plants along the sides of the facility should be of a type that ‘cannot be used to scale up the outside of the building’.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said ‘The park and ride expansion is part of our medium-term plans for the city that would support the long-term vision on how we improve the way people travel into Portsmouth which would reduce both congestion and levels of air pollution.

‘Earlier this year we shared the park and ride expansion ideas to start the discussion, and, next year or later depending on the impact of the pandemic, we look forward to consulting on the detailed plans that will take into account the feedback we received.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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