OUR city and seafront deserves better.
That was the message by campaigners as they made a stand against a company wanting to build retirement flats along the waterfront.
I ask the planning inspectorate to respect this democratic decision and rule against this monstrosity of a building, which is truly unsuitable and unwanted.Nick Courtney, of the People’s Plan for Southsea
A public hearing was held by the planning inspectorate yesterday to decide whether McCarthy & Stone should be granted permission to redevelop the site of the former Savoy buildings.
The council’s planning committee had previously thrown out the plans for the site, still currently owned by ex-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp.
The four-hour hearing yesterday saw the council, campaigners and McCarthy & Stone all have a say over the scheme, which included space for a Co-op store on the ground floor.
But it was agreed a formal decision would be delayed until other organisations such as English Heritage put forward their views in writing.
Nick Courtney, of The People’s Plan for Southsea, who attended, said there were a number of issues with the plans.
He said the flats would have an adverse impact on tourism, damage the economy and the design was more in keeping with ‘Benidorm’ than Southsea.
Speaking at the meeting in Portsmouth’s Civic Offices, Mr Courtney said: ‘The people of Portsmouth elected the councillors on the planning committee.’
‘They have spoken on behalf of the people of Portsmouth with a resounding and unanimous no.
‘I ask the planning inspectorate to respect this democratic decision and rule against this monstrosity of a building, which is truly unsuitable and unwanted.
‘We take pride in our city and we love our seafront.
‘We deserve better, our seafront deserves better and our city deserves better.’
Mr Courtney added he was disappointed with the council’s planning team – who he said presented a ‘poor case’ and insisted the flats would only have a ‘limited’ impact on the conservation area.