Portsmouth’s planning problems should have been tackled years earlier, according to Lord Jacques of Portsea.
He was one of a panel at an ‘any questions’ meeting organised by the Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society.
‘Nevertheless, Portsmouth was in a far worse condition than most cities when the planning laws were passed,’ he said.
Lord Jacques expressed this view after a charge made by Frank Judd, MP for Portsmouth West, that Portsmouth was guilty of ‘anti-planning’.
Mr Judd also claimed lack of strong leadership in key positions in Portsmouth meant much of the city was a disgrace.
He said most of Portsmouth’s troubles stemmed from war damage, which unlike cities like Coventry and Plymouth, was not concentrated, but spread over the whole city, increasing the problems of its rebuilding.
He said: ‘The critics say improvement is only delaying the problem because the old properties will have to be pulled down, anyway.
‘But if you look at the accommodation going up at the moment I think many of the old houses will still outlive them,’ he added.