Students record films backing wildlife trust's fight against £1bn Tipner West development in Portsmouth

FOUR university students have produced a video series highlighting a wildlife trust’s battle to stop a £1bn housing development from being given the green light in Portsmouth.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 4:30 pm
Tipner West which would be re-developed into a super peninsula for 4,000 homes. Picture: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

The sequence, created by film students from the University of the West of England, shows the drastic environmental impact on local species if the plan to create the Tipner West super peninsula goes ahead.

Portsmouth City Council's huge development would see around 4,000 new houses built in Lennox Point, north of the city and the creation of a marine hub on a reclaimed coastal floodplain.

But Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has warned this will destroy 67 acres of intertidal habitat and a further seven acres of protected land.

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University students in the process of recording their videos about Tipner West.

Grace Alexander, Katie Wright, Adam Bolt, and Fin Wright created four videos on social media to support the trust’s petition fighting the proposal, which so far boosts almost 24,000 signatures of its 25,000 target.

Student Grace, 20, said the team wanted to record the videos for their university project to ‘raise awareness against’ the development.

She added: ‘Before the video release, the petition had a lot of signatures, but it went up by a couple of hundred in the week after.

One of the group’s films entitled 'Visit England' references tourism adverts that show off great places of nature in the UK.

Katie continued: 'We took the idea to imagine every natural site getting turned into a housing estate. It was a memorable and comedic way to represent the concern for the destruction of a protected site like Tipner West.’

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will make the videos available to the public later this summer on their website when the council hold a local planning consultation on the development.

Sienna Somers, the trust's policy and advocacy manager, said: 'We're glad that this has inspired individuals, especially young individuals, to take action. The students admired our campaign, and we want to share and show them to the public.

'The videos are really striking. They show a clear message that we cannot take bad housing developments anymore.

'We can't put people against nature. We need to create good housing but also protect the precious natural assets that we have left.'

Councillor Hugh Mason, planning boss at Portsmouth City Council, admitted ‘many people’ had ‘concerns’ over the Tipner scheme.

Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and City Development at Portsmouth City Council, addresses that 'many people have concerns.

But he insisted the authority followed a ‘very rigorous process’ to ensure there is ‘more than adequate physical compensation for the ecological impact’ of the development.

He added: 'This has to be verified by independent environmental regulators, rather than by the council itself before any planning applications are submitted to ensure that development on this land is possible and permissible.

‘Lennox Point meets the housing requirements, which have been set by the government, to build 825 homes per year until 2036.

‘It is the only possible site in Portsmouth that can accommodate both the required housing and the maritime industry development in the city.’

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