Bid for tower just goes to show the pull city now has

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Whatever your personal views on the ever-growing number of new tower blocks in Portsmouth, one thing’s for sure – they’re changing the skyline of our city forever.

Today we bring you news of the latest in a line of bids to either revamp tired, disused buildings or put up new ones.

Developer Crosslane wants to create a 19-storey building in place of the Co-op bank in Commercial Road.

It’s hot on the heels of similar proposals nearby.

Across the road the 197ft Zurich House is due to take nearly 1,000 students when refurbishment of the former office block is complete.

And in Greetham Street there is a new block while permission has been given for a 16 to 18-storey 228-bedroom hotel in Surrey Street.

Of course the driver for these developments is the need to provide student accommodation – the self-same students that bring huge amounts of money to our local economy.

The University of Portsmouth has 19,100 students but only provides 5,912 beds.

These developments are filling that shortfall and, in the process, freeing up much-needed homes in the city for families.

The council comes out today in fulsome praise of the plan as does heritage group Portsmouth Society.

Of course, we’ll follow the scheme as it makes its way through the planning process.

It may yet be that not everyone is as keen on the concept or indeed the design.

But it’s clear that developments like this are part and parcel of the city now.

That there is the interest to build them in the first place just goes to show what a positive position that this area is in.
 So we’ll watch with interest and let’s see where the next big tower plan appears.